Cameron J (br)
/5 - Decent. 2. " a thoroughly flawed, but also often effectively inspired romantic comedy-drama. . . When the night draws to a close, some annoyingly overt cleverness, histrionics, clichs, dragging and tonal unevenness reflect a certain laziness which betrays potential that is thin enough to begin with in a minimalist story concept that is still worthy enough, and done enough justice by snappy, when not thoughtful direction, clever, if not audacious writing, and strong performances - especially by charming and often moving leads Rob Lowe and Demi Moore - to make Edward Zwick's "About Last Night. Up until those dramatic highlights, Lowe and Moore capture a sense of evolution in lover who grow as individuals and with each other, sometimes to dark areas, and such effortlessly effectiveness from the leads reflects a competence that I wish was more prevalent in this minimalist and sometimes misguided film, but nevertheless joins many an attribute in establishing a sense of inspiration that drives the final product as charming and often moving, if generally improvable. The performances never fail, with Jim Belushi, as the typical charmingly loud buddy, and Elizabeth Perkins, as the typical flawed, yet still know-it-all gal pal, impressing in their sheer charm, while leads Rob Lowe and Demi Moore drive the show, with dynamite chemistry, and engaging individual charm, punctuated by dramatic beats that are truly powerful. There are truly powerful moments in this film, and although the path to those moments are lacking in weight, they're rich with wit, and even well-rounded characterization that paints generally believable and charming, if somewhat obnoxious leads, brought to life by the most consistently strong aspect. Stronger than Zwick's direction is a script by Tim Kazurinsky and Denise DeClue that is itself flawed, but defines the wit of this film as much as anything, having an extreme cleverness to its dialogue that, while a little unlikely and annoying at times, bites on the whole, while thoroughly amusing at times, until all of the clever, perhaps even gutsy fluff goes punctuated by a defiance of melodrama through an audaciously realistic approach to very real conflicts. Of course, when all of that snap settles and leaves substance to go unfiltered by fluff, where the drama could have easily blanded up, it finds material to draw upon and resonate with, resulting in highlights that, to be honest, are a little more visible in the storytelling efforts outside of those of Zwick. While potential is limited, it stands firm for a romantic dramedy, done justice partly by Edward Zwick, whose debut directorial performance shows some areas that need work, and other areas - say, melodramatic ones - that would go on to never be mended in Zwick's storytelling style, but also has a style to such aspects as Harry Keramidas' snappy editing to sustain pretty thorough entertainment value and a sense of wit through all of the moments of overt thoughtfulness. I just now got done griping about how this film might have stood a chance of transcending underwhelmingness, if it wasn't for natural shortcomings to a story concept that is still worthy, having a certain genuine uniqueness and maturity to its approach to an age-old tale of struggles in relationships. The film is ultimately underwhelming, more so than it could have been, but it still does enough right to endear, even in concept. No matter how worthy the film's subject matter is, or at least appears to be when approached with an edge and maturity that most films of this nature don't even have the decency to incorporate into their basic narrative idea, this is something of a thin, perhaps fluffy story concept that limits potential, further limited by both overambition and laziness to the execution. Of course, once aimlessness goes broken by filler, all of that cleverness takes yet another fierce blow by some sort of laziness that, in addition to inspiring a sense of tonal inconsistency, obscures potential that was always to have a certain transparency to it. It's hard something fierce to look at this film's story concept and runtime of almost two hours and not fear dragging, and make no mistakes, the concern is just, for the final product drags its feet time and again, and not even with filler, fleshing out more and more material to the point of repetition, with only so much liveliness to filler. There's something refreshing about this clever and, in a lot of ways, mature romantic dramedy, and that makes it all the more aggravating when genuineness lapses, often accompanied with originality, whose conventional elements beget a bland sense of predictability that is admittedly thinned down simply by storytelling's taking so long to reach expected destinations. Of course, about as, if not more questionable of a trait within Tim Kazurinsky's and Denise DeClue's script is melodrama, which is so distancing, not just because it's not as grounded as it perhaps should be to resonate, maybe even cheesy, but because it's a betrayal of the genuineness (Oh, those montages set to cheesy '80s pop kind of made me ill) that makes certain areas of this film so special. I have a lot of admiration for the overwhelming wit that pretty much defines the film which is sharper than your usual rom-com fare, up until that sharpness cuts as too clever for its own good, shaking the believability in certain dialogue pieces, and often getting to be annoying in its busy edge. Well, at least this film was a fair success, and a fair debut for Edward Zwick, even though this film does prove that Zwick really was never without some fault. I mean, seriously, it's Rob Lowe and Demi Moore, ladies and gentlemen, so does it get to be any more of a 1980s rom-com? I understand that it's a rom-com-dram, but I don't know if you can take all that seriously the dramatic depths of anything featuring [u]Jim[/u] Belushi, even though it is emotionally heavy to think about his career in comparison to that of his dead brother. Hey, plenty of big filmmakers started out with films this fluffy, or at least they did in the '80s, the era from which this film ever so obviously hails. Zwick never made the most broad-scale epics, but it is odd to see him start out with a film of such light subject matter. although that might simply be because Edward Zwick is directing this. . . That's such a general title that I'm expecting this to be some kind of an extensive epic or something that studies on the depths of depravity within Chicago. I like how there's something awkward about this film's title, which is still not as awkward as the original play's title, "Sexual Perversity in Chicago"
Kenneth L (us)
As an act of homage, this has to be one of the best and most thorough tributes to another filmmaker I've seen. The musical score especially contributes to the movie's intense, yet often playful mood. The plot is based on a novel by Cornell Woolrich, who also wrote the source material for Rear Window; and the music was composed by Bernard Hermann, who seemed to be imitating and intensifying his own style from Hitchcock films like Vertigo and Psycho. Truffaut's homage to Hitchcock was largely strengthened by the collaborators he managed to snag for the movie. There's some ambiguity later on in the plot, but to a large extent this film does play as an effective thriller. Much like the Bride in Kill Bill, she has a list of targets, whom she pursues one after the other and attempts to kill in various ways. The story, which seems to have directly inspired Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill, follows a woman (Jeanne Moreau) out for vengeance after her husband is killed by a group of men. It's interesting to see both how well Truffaut imitates Hitchcock, and how he still manages to put his own spin on things. It's a thoroughgoing tribute to the films of Alfred Hitchcock, with whom Truffaut had recently conducted a 50-hour long interview that was transcribed into a terrific book. It's interesting to see a filmmaker with a fairly arty reputation like Francois Truffaut just try to have fun with a movie, but Truffaut manages just that brilliantly with this movie