Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Movie Review: Date Night
If you're looking for a hilarious movie from two of sitcom's brightest stars... you might want to skip Date Night. It's not that Tina Fey and Steve Carell don't shine in Shawn Levy's film -- they do -- it's just that this movie doesn't have the right comedic material for them.
Carell and Fey star as Phil and Claire Foster, a mediocre couple from New Jersey who have the regular middle class life -- go to work, come home, deal with the kids, go to bed. Get up the next morning and do the whole thing over again.
After hearing about their friend's impending divorce, Phil decides to shake things up. Instead of their regular date night at a local tavern eating potato skins, he wants to take Claire to an upscale restaurant in Manhattan. When they can't get a seat at the uber trendy restaurant, Phil decides they should take the table of the Tripplehorn party, who aren't there to get their table.
When the Fosters are mistaken for the Tripplehorns, they find out that this other couple is in some big trouble with a local crime boss -- and now they are in that trouble, too.
Full of hijinks and some slapstick comedy, not many scenes are as funny as they could have been. Levy had Fey and Carell in his hands, and it seems he didn't give them enough to work with. Besides an amusing scene where the couple has to strip in a club, and another where their car gets connected to a taxi, there aren't too many laugh out loud moments.
The beginning of the movie shows Fey and Carell at their local date spot, making up stories (and voices) for the couples eating around them. This is when I saw these two actors really in their element--or, at least, how I'm used to seeing them--goofing off and having fun. However, their characters aren't Liz Lemon and Michael Scott; they are a suburban couple trying to rev up their marriage. Even though they weren't as funny as I would have hoped, Fey and Carell effortlessly portray this loving albeit bored couple.
There are tons of cameos in this movie, including Leighton Meester as the babysitter; Ray Liotta as the crime boss; Mark Wahlberg as Claire's hot, shirtless former client; and Kristen Wiig and Mark Ruffalo as the divorcing couple. But by far my favorites were James Franco and Mila Kunis as the real Tripplehorns.
Overall, Date Night is a cute movie, but it won't leave you laughing and wanting more.