Movie Review: Date Night (2010)

Posted: November 18, 2012 in Comedy

 

Phil Foster (Steve Carell) and his wife Claire (Tina Fey) are an average suburban couple from New Jersey.  He is an accountant and she is a real estate agent.  Both feel that their marriage is slipping into a rut.  Even on their date nights, they go to the same restaurant, and have the same meal.  On this Date Night Phil  decides to spice things up a bit, he decides to go  to a trendy New York City restaurant with Claire, called Claw.  They take the reservations of a couple called the Tripplehornes and are having a great night until they are taken into an alley and threatened by a pair of ruffians named Armstrong (Jimmi Simpson) and Collins (Common) The two turn out to be crooked cops working for mob boss Joe Milletto.  (Ray Liotta

Armstrong and Collins want a flash drive with some incriminating photos of District Attorney Frank Crenshaw (William Fichter),  Phil and Claire actually get the flash drive from the real Tripplehornes Whippit (Mila Kunis) and Taste (James Franco) a shady couple who doesn’t seem to want anything to do with the flash drive anymore.  Can they keep possession of the flash drive with the help of  security guru Grant Holbrooke (Mark Wahlberg) and a clean cop Detective Arroyo, (Taraji Henson) before running into the crooked cops of Joe Milletto?

This is a formulaic movie, the theme of the suburban guy or girl or in this instance couple going to the big city and running into the urban tough guys has been done many times before, for example Adventures in Babysitting, but this time the material is funny, because of the performances of Carell and Fey, mostly Fey.  Carell is playing the same dumb guy role he does in the Office, but Fey’s adlibbing of one-liners makes this movie worth watching. No one would think that the two would work well together well, but they do, feeding each other straight lines and setting up some funny punchlines.  There are at least 3 scenes and half a dozen punchlines that made me laugh out loud.  Mark Walhberg was funny as the shirtless security guard, meant to drive Tina Fey’s uptight suburban housewife mad with desire, but I wish they had built up his character a little, why does he do everything Claire wants?  Does Grant feel anything for Claire?  It would have been much funnier if he pursued her a little. Liotta was a one joke cameo, and Kunis and Franco’s characters were also underdeveloped. Despite these shortcomings, the movie is often funny, and has its heart in the right place.

Date Night.   A Night to remember.

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