A movie where two couples are trying to figure out when friends with benefits, become a full-fledged relationship.
Review (with Spoilers)
In Kevin Hart’s 2nd feature of the year, he reunited with Michael Ealy and Regina Hall to bring us a remake of a film that I honestly never saw. But, with Kevin Hart being somewhat consistent since he came out, I figured this would be a good film. However, despite my love for his work in Ride Along, I am beginning to think Kevin Hart fatigue is oncoming.
Characters & Story
Bernie (Kevin Hart) & Danny (Michael Ealy) are co-workers and best friends who end up dating Joan (Regina Hall) and her roommate/ friend Debbie (Joy Bryant) respectively. Bernie is Kevin Hart as he is in most of his movies, but vulgar, and Joan is similar to Hall’s character Brenda Meeks, but a little more off balance. Together, they make for a dysfunctional couple who bring the majority of the laughs to the film.
On the other end, you have Danny and Debbie, who both present almost an entirely different movie. Their story is much more traditional romance and has the usual rise, screw up/ break up, and then an odd method of getting back together. As for the characters themselves, complete opposites of Bernie and Joan. Danny is pretty much a smooth type of brother, and Debbie pretty much fits what a college sweetheart would be.
Altogether, the film feels like it presents two different type of love stories and tries to string them both together the best it can.
In all honesty, most of the praise for this film, to me, goes to Ealy and Bryant. Mind you, Hart and Hall are funny and got me laughing about 22 or so times, about half of what Ride Along got, but their bickering is pretty much where most of that 22 count came from. Hart gets as nasty as possible when it comes to his comedy, and Hall throws it right back in his face. And, as the story summary said, they’re highly dysfunctional, yet they seem almost more realistic than their counterparts in Ealy and Bryant at times.
Going back to Ealy and Bryant, though their romance is very storybook, their chemistry and the way they play with one another in the film, really made me want to take notes, outside of what went on in the movie. Also, I think, even if you cut Hart and Hall, their relationship alone was compelling enough to stand on its own two legs. I mean, it has all the appeal of a, for the lack of a better term, urban romance novel, a la something out the Kimani Romance collection (I personally recommend Kim Shaw).
But, while it had its laughs and a decent romance, I must admit I felt like neither Hall and Hart’s characters, nor Ealy and Bryant’s got that developed. Not to say they were shallow, but between Danny’s character speaking of a dream he had, without specifics, talking about a dad who screwed someone over, but we are never told how, and then him and Debbie getting back together, after she pretty much shut him out, it made it seem like their story was secondary to making sure Hart had enough screen time to make his audience happy. And the sad thing is, despite Hart being funny in the film, I do feel he needs a new shtick. Like Will Ferrell and many other comedians out there, he is starting to seem like he is only capable of playing one type of persona, which has minor adjustments to the character’s personality. And, to me, his “Big Little Man” routine is starting to get old. Plus, considering he has one more film this year, and TV shows in the works, outside of Real Husbands of Hollywood, I think he definitely needs something to show he is more than a one-note actor trying to get all he can why the fire is hot.
Overall: TV Viewing
All in all, I felt a bit disappointed when I walked out the theater. Not because it wasn’t as funny as I hoped, or as romantic as I thought it could have been, but just because it just didn’t seem like it was made to do anything but give you something to do for an hour and a half. Which there isn’t anything wrong with, but considering this is a remake, much less the fact we will be drowning in Kevin Hart material, it just makes me wonder why there wasn’t an effort to really make it so it had some real emotional depth, and not so easily capable of writing off. Which is why I say wait until it comes out on TV. It isn’t that hilarious or makes you swoon to the point it is worth spending money on immediately. Especially because it is quite forgettable.