In About Last Night, Deborah (Demi Moore) and Danny (Rob Lowe) are part-tragic, part-dramatic lovers in Chicago. When they meet at a local bar and they question what it means to balance physical intimacy and the idea of love. Love, to Danny and Deborah, is not always synonymous with the possibility of sexual desire.
The first time I picked up the VHS copy of About Last Night in my house, I can recall that the movie’s casting director, Gail Eisenstadt, wasn’t looking for edge. Neither was he searching for something different, spontaneous, nor shocking. It was supposed to be a typical love story, one that goes awry and is misunderstood.
When we tend to think of love, we have conventional ideas of what that may be. Maybe you’re supposed to meet someone. Perhaps we are supposed to fall for their riveting sense of adventure. Then, next thing you know, you find a way to invite everyone to your wedding two summers from when you both met. Bam—you’ve achieved some kind of desired domestic bliss.
In About Last Night, love is not supposed to fall into any of these stereotypical categories. Love is hard to maintain and sometimes, we don’t even realize when it’s there.
I think what stuck out to me about this movie was the young Demi Moore. This was filmed prior to her divorce, plastic surgeries, and pre-Ashton Kutcher phase. She’s soft and light-hearted. Deborah is too pretty for Chicago. Chicago is musty with a hint of self-loathing from characters around her. The characters all go to baseball games, drink after work, and find entertainment in searching for mates. However, they pity themselves so much that they don’t seem to want anything more than that.
It’s hard to watch a confused Deborah sit on that line—we don’t know what she wants, but everyone in her scope seems to be fixed on what they want.
In one of the final scenes, Deborah screams: “You don’t know what love is. You’ve gotten everything you have always wanted and now you’re feeling sorry for yourself because there’s something you want and you can’t have it. But you had it! I gave you love. But you asked me to leave and I left.” She leaves a devastated Danny, now transfixed, to contemplate a new realization of what love is.