Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlbery, William Fichtner, Taraji P. Henson
Directed by Shawn Levy
Steve Carell and Tina Fey are a dynamic comedy duo. Starring in the new movie Date Night, their witty, slapstick-inspired comedy allows even a high-speed car chase to become undeniably funny.
However, the movie is lucky that Carell and Fey are strong enough on their own merit, because the plot is predictable and familiar.
Carell and Fey play lead characters Phil and Claire Foster, a tired married couple living mundane lives in New Jersey. Their daily routine consists of looking after their children and going to and from work. Once a week they take time out of their schedules to go on a date night. These usually involve going to the local restaurant and ordering the same meal every week.
Scared of becoming stuck in a rut, one date night they decide to go to a hip new seafood restaurant in Manhattan. In a reckless moment they steal the table reservation for the Tripplehorns when they are unable to secure their own. This triggers a night of endless trouble and escapades.
The remainder of the movie follows Mr and Mrs Foster as they attempt to escape and thwart their pursuers. From this point on, the end of the movie was clear. With a by-the-book plot, it is a slave to typical comedic action movies.
There is nothing that truly distinguishes this movie from any other except for the remarkable chemistry between Carell and Fey. Their rapport mirrors that of a real-life married couple complete with in-jokes and ritualistic routines.
The movie's shining moments were unscripted. Carell and Fey revel in their improvised scenes. Director Shawn Levy was comfortable in giving them some creative license - perhaps he didn't give them enough. Carell and Fey's description of the relationships of fellow diners was funny, but it was the strip tease routine performed by Carell and Fey that stole the show. This scene alone makes the movie worth seeing.
Actors Mark Wahlberg and William Fichtner also make appearances. Wahlberg's comic timing was not a shadow of Carrel or Fey's. His finely sculptured abs were enough to entice a large female audience, however.
While by no means a masterpiece, Date Night is certainly a light-hearted, enjoyable film, worth watching if you are in need of a laugh or simply want to escape the humdrum of everyday life.