Demotivational Poster of the Day

Demotivational Poster of the Day

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Date Night (2010)

Who knew simple dinner reservations under a different name could turn one New Jersey couple's date night so terribly upside-down? Claire (Tina Fey) and Phil (Steve Carell) Foster leave their kids with the sitter (Leighton Meester) and head out for a night on the town -- as the Tripplehorns. Shawn Levy (Just Married, Night at the Museum) directs this action-comedy; Mark Wahlberg and James Franco co-star.
The presence of Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and a talented supporting cast allows Date Night to rise from a state of of mediocrity to become a good film in its own right. Carrell and Fey are in top form as married couple Phil and Claire Foster, and their misadventures in the big city thanks to a case of mistaken identity puts them on screen with a variety of good actors giving solid performances. Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Taraji P. Henson, Common and Jimmi Simpson all provide exactly what is needed of them to make the movie funny. The script follows a fairly formulaic path but director Shawn Levy knows for the most part how to keep out of the way of actors and let their comedic performances shine through. The mix of action and comedy is done fairly well and there are more than enough laughs to carry us through the lower-quality portions that dont quite seem to fit. There are better romantic comedies out there but in terms of slapstick-style screwball affairs, Date Night scores as a funny and enjoyable night out at the movies.

Steve Carrell and Tina Fey did an excellent job in this film. As a married couple, they fit together. Both are witty, smart, have a strong sexual attraction and it is easy to envision them in this role. It is labeled as a romantic comedy. That is true but it is a more creative, more energetic version of films in this genre. The characters in the lead role are trying to do something different and get out of their normal routine after they learn good friends are getting a divorce. The evening on the town ends up much different than anticipated as they end up meeting mobsters, crooked cops, contract spies, hookers and crooked politicians. In the process, they also evaluate their relationship and what they have as a couple. There are funny scenes in the film; it is romantic; and it is a film for adults. It moves quickly and will keep your attention. This is one of the better films in this category. Take your date to see it.

I went to this movie with trepidation, even though it had two major stars, from "30 Rock" and "The Office". Too often, films like this fail to deliver relying on lame plot lines, overblown chaos, shoot outs, etc., etc. Well "Date Night" has all of these pitfalls, but with the prodigious talents of Fey and Carrel driving the comedy, the film delivers laugh out loud moments and good entertainment value. The two stars play a married couple, with two kids, and careers, who decide to break their routine and kick back with a trip to Manhattan for an upscale dining experience. The meal in Manhattan begins the mayhem that develops into mistaken identity for the married two. Carrel and Fey are pursued through Manhattan by thugs, (all perfectly cast and who definitely enhance the plot line). James Franco is especially delightful, bringing a laugh out loud moment with his plaintive, "Like I want to spend the rest of my life selling stolen wheelchairs!!!". William Fichtner, as the D.A. Frank Crenshaw is a comical scene stealer with his farcical facial expressions. In the final analysis it is Fey and Carell who make this film better than it would have been by their obvious chemistry and often what seems like improvisations. Fey's quick wit and Carell's dry wit work magic with the script. This film is a fun ride and I recommend it.


4/5 Stars

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