Proof Review: Date Night (2010)

Release Date
April 9, 2010
Director
Shawn Levy
Screenplay
Josh Klausner
Distributed By
20th Century Fox
Budget
$55 million
Action, Comedy, Crime, Romance
Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference
88 minutes

Date Night

Take what you think you know about Date Night and toss it out the window. Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) find themselves stuck in a rut. When their book club friends (Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig) whisper the words that they are better roommates then they are lovers, Phil and Claire turn to their own relationship and wonder if they need to spice things up to avoid the same fate. In their attempt, they venture from New Jersey to downtown New York to eat at the hippest new restaurant in town. After they acquire a different couple’s reservation, a night of chases and wrongful identities ensues, showing them that their dull lives back in New Jersey are not so bad after all.

Worth only one viewing, the pairing of Steve Carell and Tina Fey sounds good on paper, but in action the dynamic between the two stars falls short. Date Night does, however, aim at an older, more experienced age group than mine, targeting the married couples that can relate to the out of touch partners of Carell and Fey. Both actors do have well established careers prior to Date Night, but the film fails to hold any lasting impression.

Date Night was made for cameos, or so it appears, with many big names filling the screen for only a few minutes at a time. The cameo by Mark Wahlberg is the highlight of the film. Wahlberg’s dialogue overshadows the lead character’s lines and even the interaction between the odd couple and Wahlberg produce some of the greatest moments of the film. James Franco and Mila Kunis also deliver outstanding cameos, proving that the film should have focused on them instead.

Date Night simply never feels grounded. The film comes off tacky and unoriginal, though still mainstream and made for an older age group. The idea of a married couple getting mixed up in a blackmailing crime for stealing reservations in attempt to escape their old life is completely laughable and unrealistic. Had Carell and Fey’s dialogue been absolutely earth-shatteringly hilarious, the plot could have been overlooked, but with only a handful of humorous lines (“I’m going to go home and fart into a shoe box”) the funniest parts end up displayed in the trailer.

Date Night had huge potential, with a great cast and action sequences galore, including a high speed chase down a busy New York street with two cars attached at their bumpers all while a high pitched screaming black cabbie is stuck along for the ride, but instead, the film fell flat. Be warned that unless you are a married couple stuck in the same routine, this film may not hit home for you. And even if you are that married couple with routine, Date Night will scare you away from even the idea of having a night out alone together. The morale of the story is: never steal anyone’s reservations or you will never hear the end of it.

 

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