Friday, May 14, 2010

Movie review: Date Night

The Movie: Date Night
The Players: Steve Carrell, Tina Fey
The Makers: Shaun Levy (director), Josh Klausner (writer)
Run time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carrell and Tina Fey) are a married couple from New Jersey with two kids and a daily routine so exhaustingly dull they can barely summon the energy to go out for dinner together on a date night. However, the news of some friends’ divorce forces them to re-evaluate their own commitment and they quickly realise that special spark is missing, and has been for a while.

Determined to reignite their feelings for one another, they head into Manhattan for a special date night at a trendy eatery. The restaurant is so trendy that they are unable to get a table, and take someone else’s reservation, the Tripplehorns. Halfway through their meal, they are escorted out into the back alley and threatened at gun point by two criminal. Clearly a case of mistaken identity, Phil and Claire agree to give the goons the missing flash drive they’re being questioned about, despite not knowing anything about it. They quickly become embroiled in a war involving a mobster, a stripper and her lover and a politician who isn’t as squeaky clean as everyone thinks, getting help along the way from an ex-intelligence Adonis with super cool gadgets.

Carrell and Fey are a match made in comedic heaven – they play well off each other, but also manage to properly convey both the dissatisfaction and affection of a long married couple who are stuck in a rut. They also portray a realness that is quite sweet and amusing, as they bumble through New York City’s elite nightlife, fully aware that they don’t fit in. As Phil and Claire become involved in bizarre set-ups, car chases and amateur criminal activity, the storyline, which is totally implausible, moves at a consistent pace (although someone’s Husband had a LOT of issues with the car chase scene: “Those cars would never fit together like that!” “Can’t you just suspend your disbelief? It’s a COMEDY”) and the throwaway lines and impromtu, attempted bad-assery from both Fey and Carrell’s characters keeps the audience chuckling most of the way through the film.

I really enjoyed Date Night, and while it’s not exactly high-brow entertainment, it kept me laughing and was an easy night’s entertainment. There are some great ensemble cast members (Mark Wahlberg, Ray Liotta, William Fitchner) and it's definitely worth checking out the DVD when it’s released, it’s well worth a watch.

In a word: Funny.
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1 comment:

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