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Phil and Claire Foster are a couple who have been married for several years. Their days consists of them taking care of their children and going to work and coming home and going to bed. But they find time to have a date night wherein they go out and spend some time together. When another couple they know announce that they're separating because they're in a rut, Phil feels that he and Claire could be too. So when date night comes Phil decides to do something different. So they go into the city and try to get into a new popular restaurant. But when it's full and still wanting to do this, Phil decides to take the reservation of a couple who doesn't show up. While they're having dinner two men approach them and instructs them to stand up and go with them. They think the men are with the restaurant and want to talk to them about taking someone else's reservation. But it appears the couple whose reservation they took crossed someone and the two men work for this person. The men are after ... Written by
Cameo: Jason Jones and Samantha Bee from The Daily Show (where Steve Carell got his break) are the couple that the Fosters try to convince to give them money by explaining all that's happened to them. See more »
In the scene where Phil and Claire are preparing for bedtime the clock can be seen to be displaying 10:58 as Phil climbs into bed. As the scene ends, the clock still displays 10:58 despite the scene lasting well over a minute. See more »
Greetings again from the darkness. Most married couples can probably relate to the grind of a life absorbed with work and parenting. Sometimes the fantasy turns into having a quiet moment of solitude. Heck, even "date night" can devolve into just another responsibility tacked on at the end of a long week. This is the premise for director Shawn Levy's film. The best part? It doesn't matter at all.
The reason this film works is not the plot or script, but rather the talents of the two funniest people in showbiz today: Steve Carell and Tina Fey. The two seem to have an exceptional comedic connection that brings out a timing that reminds of the best comedy teams of all time.
Sometimes what makes for the funniest comedy is putting "normal" people into exceptional situations and let them react. Here, Carell and Fey are just a typical suburban couple trying to re-ignite the luster of an all too comfortable marriage. The motivation comes when their friends (Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig) announce they are splitting. This starts Carell and Fey off on a series of skits that would make Seinfeld proud.
The nightmare begins when the couple "steals" a reservation in a hot new restaurant and assume the identity of, what turns out to be a couple of low level thieves. The multitude of skits that follow include supporting work from dirty cops (Common and Jimmi Simpson), the real reservation holders (funny James Franco and Mila Kunis), a mob boss (Ray Liotta), a corrupt city official (William Fichtner) and a "security expert" in the eternally shirtless Mark Wahlberg.
The approach of the film reminds me of "After Hours", "Adventures in Babysitting" and "The Out of Towners". Some of the best comedy occurs when the main players aren't tossing out incessant one-liners. Think back to Cary Grant's screwball comedies. He was not a bumbling idiot or a stand-up comedian walking through life. His characters were reactionary to the odd-ball situations in which he was placed. That is the approach of Carell and Fey, and I hope they pursue future projects together.
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