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better, or maybe just funnier, than expected thanks to the two leads and some supporting work
MisterWhiplash11 April 2010
The director Shawn Levy sadly doesn't inspire a lot of enthusiasm going into one of his movies. At best he's competent at what he does, and some years back made a halfway clever and original 'movie'-comedy (Big Fat Liar), but mostly has kept to Fox studio commercialism like Cheaper by the Dozen and the Night at the Museum movies. And yet, he (or just the studio) must have had the insight to put together two of the funniest people working right now- not to mention with shows back-to-back on Thursday nights on NBC- Steve Carrel and Tina Fey, because they help elevate anyone's work by a longshot. This isn't to say that Josh Klausner's script may not have some laughs, but where exactly I can't be sure, since most of his contributions would appear to come from the super-conventional story aspects (as my own mother put it, "I don't know, looks like The Out of Towners, or that Blind Date movie from the 80's").

So yeah, basic premise, married couple looking for a little change (their friends are splitting up), go out to 'The City' (NYC of course) and to a very nice restaurant. In a move that could come out of a Seinfeld episode, they can't get a reservation so Carrel overhears a waitress calling for someone else for a reservation and he decides they should take it since they're no-shows. The "Tripplehorns", as it turns out, have some shady dealings with some bad dues with guns, and so the Fosters, our confused heroes, go on the run in the city. Whenever the movie focuses on the core plot of all of this, it's by the numbers stuff, save for a climax that ratchets up the absurdity of everyone involved (including good actors playing decent-to-mediocre baddies like William Fichtner and Ray Liotta).

It's when Fey and Carrel are allowed to play loose with the script that it strikes the iron. Their timing is impeccable, and they have chemistry together, which is crucial. And when they come across some other supporting characters, like Mark Wahlberg's (VERY) shirtless ex-military guy with all of his high-tech equipment, or the "real" Tripplehorns played by James Franco and Mila Kunis, there's further hilarity that ensues from the interactions and precise timing. That's all you need sometimes in a comedy that's based in formula, is two character to at least semi care about (and, perhaps more wisely than a Hollywood rom-com can be given credit for, it has painfully normal characters here, nothing too complicated), and who are funny in semi-funny situations. Even a ridiculous car chase where the Fosters hit a cab and the two are connected bumper to bumper through the streets is funny just because of the acting. Given the right mood and timing they could read a census report and get a few chuckles from the pauses and inflections.

So, if you're looking for something masterfully done, look elsewhere. If you just want to see two stars who are funny be funny almost despite some of the limitations in the script, Date Night deserves a chance. At the least you get to see the two show off their "skills" in a strip-club scene, and, did I mention Mark Whalberg doesn't have on a shirt?
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Kill Shots and Potato Skins
David Ferguson12 April 2010
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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A Nutshell Review: Date Night
DICK STEEL8 April 2010
I wonder how many married couples out there can attest to their lifestyle being nothing but revolving around work, family and especially kids, with the latter just sapping whatever free time they have in their waking hours, only to find themselves stuck in a wash-rinse-repeat cycle. The film examines in a comical fashion of course, the lifestyle of the typical family with working parents and young children, and how there isn't anything known as personal time, and having routine becoming the rot in their lives.

For the Fosters Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey), such is their married life, with spontaneity and energy being sucked so dry, even their regular date nights seem like a chore. You know, that precious night where you think you can paint the town red with a babysitter looking after the kids, and the sad thing being that even that can turn out to be lifeless, save for their favourite game played during dinner, where they adlib what they think about other diners around them.

Which is pretty cool, given that the two comedians, as the blooper reel played during the end credits showed, hammed it up a lot with awesome ad-libbing and improvisation, that never fail to bring on the laughter. In fact, opportunities where they are cut loose and allowed to go really crazy, are some of the best parts of the film, breathing comedic life into a very simple story of how their, well, little white lie in order to get a table at a swanky restaurant, would turn their date night upside down into a crazy urban adventure, filled with thugs, cops, and well, a beefy Mark Wahlberg.

If I had a physique similar to Wahlberg's security expert Holbrooke, heck I'll strut around topless as well all the time, which serves as a running joke about Man's insecurities about the pectorals and abs of another. One of the nicer themes here involves how couples, beside spending time together, have to emotionally connect and be honest and upfront about their desires, and especially fears as well. In between pursuits and comedy, director Shawn Levy pauses the pace appropriately to inject some dramatic elements to sneak in a moment or two to examine just that, before stepping on the pedal to floor the film to its finale.

Like I mentioned, it's otherwise a very straightforward film that doesn't try to be more than it can be, keeping things simple and to the point, with great cameo appearances with the likes of Will.I.Am, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco and Mila Kunis being those instantly recognizable. Carell and Fey share an excellent chemistry and play off each other's antics really well from wit to the timing of their physical comedy, and you'll find yourself rooting for this average, normal couple, to be going one up against their adversaries in a single nighttime adventure, since all they want is to get out of their predicament, and back to their home and children like all parents do.

Stay until the end of the credits if you didn't have enough of the restaurant scene where Carell and Fey pose as arrogant Euro-trash, for additional laughs.
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Funny and Heartwarming
Ziglet_mir9 April 2010
Tina Fey + Steve Carell = A funny and surprisingly heartwarming film. Their on-screen chemistry is very good. They play the role as parents pretty well.

"Date Night" is a movie about a couple, named the Fosters, who are running in the biggest rut of their life. They want to spark it up, and decide that one night they will change up the routine.

What follows is a nice mix of comedy and inner conflict. The moments of heart-to-heart talk seriously reminded me of a John Hughes-like-film. Both Tina Fey and Steve Carell showed another aspect to their acting. Date Night has many of the traits I enjoy in a comedy with a good balance of laughs and sentimental value.

The diner scene at the end could pull some of the biggest tears out of the most emotionless scum on the earth. It was adorable and I could feel the relationship the Fosters were experiencing. Kudos, to the writers for masterfully writing some emotional dialog.

Overall, Date Night is a very enjoyable film.
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Using the likability of Steve and Tina well enough
abecipriano10 April 2010
Predictable? Sure, this ain't a comedy that pretends to be more than a vehicle for the comedic abilities of the very likable Tina Fey and the sometimes over-the-top (but not so much in this movie) Steve Carrell.

Aside from the surprising cameos in this show, there aren't much surprises. This is one of those movies where there's a couple that's been in a somewhat fixed circle of boredom in their lives. Heck, even their regular date nights have been very predictable.

Steve and Tina are the Fosters; upon finding out that one of their closest couple friends are splitting up, they try to spice things up by having a date in the city. In a case of mistaken identity, their would-be date night winds up an action-filled, sometimes funny evening. Except for a few scenes, this movie isn't anything innovative; but it's still nice to see Steve and Tina play likable characters.

The producers of this flick know what they have in these two actors, and the movie is enough to give their comedic and acting chops (nothing like Steve's nice acting ability in Dan in Real Life) a little flexing. With this knowledge, I still recommend this movie to those who want to enjoy a little break from the action-3D-filled movies out there now. A little date with your significant other watching this movie would be good.
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Why Steve Carrell and Tina Fey are Comic Royalty
3xHCCH17 April 2010
My wife and I spent our date night on "Date Night." Starring two of the funniest people in the American film industry makes this a must-see. And we were not wrong.

The Fosters are a typical middle-income suburban couple with two hyperactive kids. One night, they decide to spice up their date night by going to The Claw, a posh Manhattan restaurant. Desperate for a table, they claim the reservation of a no-show couple called the Tripplehorns (a hilarious homage to the actress Jeanne!). Once that die was cast, the Fosters were then plunged into a night of mistaken identity, crooked cops, double-crossing crooks and blackmail. Of course with Carrell and Fey as the Fosters, this nightmarish scenario becomes a fun rollicking madcap all-night adventure!

Witty lines and zingy one-liners are thrown between these two, and the numerous name actors who make supporting appearances. These include the perpetually shirtless Mark Wahlberg (though that joke did wear thin after a while), and a gruff and dirty James Franco (whose shouting match with Carrell is classic!). The funniest scenes involve two hooked up cars in a frenetic car chase in downtown New York, and a psychedelic dance floor with a pole. Those two LOL scenes alone are worth the price of admission!

With the talents and goodwill of the two lead stars, I am pretty sure "Date Night" will be liked by most audiences. There are a couple of scenes with heartfelt discussions about married life as well in there. This is indeed a perfect movie for a fun date night.
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I thought it failed
MLDinTN3 March 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I was expecting better from Steve Carroll and Tina Fey, but for me, this movie just didn't deliver. There wasn't anything that made me laugh out loud. Some scenes were amusing. Carroll and Fey play a married couple that take the reservation of another couple at a fancy restaurant. It turns out the the other couple stole a flash drive from some gangster and he's hired two goons to get it back, and the goons happen to be cops. So, these cops take Carroll and Fey and threaten them. They escape and hunt down a friend played by Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg had the best scenes, as he stands there shirtless while everyone seems to make comments about it. The 2 track down the disk and want to return it. They are still being chased by the bad cops and the good cops and have to do a semi-stripper dance at the end.

FINAL VERDICT: not good enough to recommend.
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A Long Night
Quietb-116 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
At 88 minutes, the movie is not long, it just feels long.

Based on the outtakes during the credits, the cast and crew had more laughs then the audience. There are some laughs early, mouth guard and slow motor boat are good for a chuckle, but the movie fails the test of a comedy as it is not funny.

The club scene pole dance sequence is an embarrassment to the actors. A very talented cast deserves better material.

The interiors are dark and it's night so there isn't much light. It is a relief when the sun comes out on the front lawn for the fun last scene.

Unless you are desperate for popcorn, don't waste your date night on this one.
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Predictable & Boring.
chaitov4 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Steve Carrel & Tina Fey are great comics on TV. I found them stilted and so predictable in this movie that my mind started to wander and I kept looking at my watch during this very short film of only 88 minutes. The script was silly, more for a 12-13 year old, if at that. There were so many ridiculous plot twists that I just tuned out. It seemed so unrealistic although the plot itself was feasible. It could have been a very smart,witty movie, but stupidity was all around,in the dialogue,the strip bar scene,their dancing,and even the car chase. Luckily,I went on a Tuesday in Toronto when the movies are $6 all day so I didn't waste too much money. The part I enjoyed most were the outtakes at the end when the credits were rolling. It's best to wait until this boring movie is out on DVD.
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Funny and Entertaining
Claudio Carvalho22 August 2010
The suburban tax lawyer Phil Foster (Steve Carell) and the real estate agent Claire Foster (Tina Fey) have a boring married life in New Jersey. In their routine, they have once a week the "date night", when they hire a baby-sitter for their children and they have dinner in the same restaurant. When their best friends decide to divorce because of their routine, Phil decides to surprise Claire and have dinner in the fancy restaurant Claw in Manhattan. However, they do not have reservation and is almost impossible to get a table; when Phil overhears the waitress calling Mr. and Mrs. Tripplehorn, he lies and gets their table. Sooner two men invite them to leave the restaurant with them and they believe the invitation is because they took the reservation of a couple that has not shown up. But they discover that the couple stole a flash memory from the powerful gangster Joe Miletto (Ray Liotta) and now they have a serious problem to resolve.

"Date Night" is a funny and entertaining film with a non-original storyline about a mistaken couple that works. Steve Carell and the beautiful Tina Fey are hilarious in the roles of the suburban couple that has a night of adventure for taking the reservation of another couple in a popular restaurant. I believe most of the couples married for a long time will easily understand the situation of Phil and Claire. My vote is seven.

Title (Brazil): "Uma Noite Fora de Série" ("An Outstanding Night")
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A complete WASTE of two brilliant actors
Brian Edmondson31 October 2010
Warning: Spoilers
After watching this movie, I have been shocked to see how many good reviews have been written. Did I miss something? This is perhaps the WORST WASTE of talent I have ever witnessed in my 57 years. Tina Fey and Steve Carell are amazing masters of dialog and subtlety, yet the writer and director of this movie decided to minimize the dialog and include such things as a ridiculous car chase scene. I am mystified how you could have Tina Fey and Steve Carell on your set and make a bad movie. Before I saw Date Night, I (seriously) would have said that is not possible. Well, it is. Steve Carell and Tina Fey need to make another movie, but they need to write it, and they need a director that is as smart as they are (or at least close). Four thumbs down.
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Nothing Outstanding,But Fun and Very Enjoyable,
FilmBuff199420 October 2013
Date Night is a good movie with a pretty well developed storyline that was in all honesty a lot more promising than the movie ended up,but its still very funny and action packed at times.The movies cast is fantastic and there are a lot of fun cameos throughout,the ones that really stick out in my head are Mark Wahlberg,James Franco,Mila Kunis,J.B. Smoove and Will i Am.I really like both Steve Carell and Tina Fey and thought the idea of them working together seemed like comedy gold,it certainly wasn't but the two of them still made for a fun movie.All in all,I would recommend Date Night to anyone looking for a short and sweet comedy to watch.

Hoping for a romantic night out,a bored married couple mistakenly become targets for the mob after pretending to be a different couple to get a table at a popular restaurant.
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Just painful
duncan-lip25 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Okay, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey should be a good combination, and sure they do work together. However, this movie is about a couples who have been together for so long that live is just boring and are looking for that spark. So, contrived plot about them taking someone else's table and getting mixed up in mob blackmail. That's it.

Sadly this movie isn't a comedy and it really was painful to watch a longtime married couple pretending at various points in the movie as to what they think is exciting. Oh, then back to the serious plot about how they might get killed.

The last few Steve Carrell movies have been poor and with The Office seeming rather weak in Season 6, I wonder if his career is faltering. It's the same character in The Office, Dateline and Get Smart.

Bottom of your DVD rental list - you've been warned. Oh unless you have been in a longterm relationship that's getting stale; you might like this one.
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Talented performers, woefully weak material
mysteriesfan19 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I missed the Amy Poehler-Tina Fey movie of some years ago, so I did not want to miss what promised to be another dream team of comedy talents in Date Night. Maybe the mixed reviews of both films should have warned me. Still, the idea of droll, down-to-earth comedians Steve Carrell and Tina Fey in an action-adventure farce seemed inspired. Well, they were likable and tried to bring some wit and energy to the movie. But the material let them and the audience down badly.

The movie began with some quick scenes at home and with friends meant to show how married life could come to feel boring and meaningless (friends suddenly announce their divorce and that they merely feel like "excellent roommates"). When accountant Carrell tries to break out of the mold with his real estate agent wife Fey on a night out of their New Jersey routines at a trendy Manhattan restaurant, the couple ends up taking another couple's reservation. The other couple is involved in blackmail and is being chased by thugs. Mistaking Carrell and Fey for the other couple, the thugs abduct them at gunpoint and chase them throughout the rest of the movie. Along the way, Carrell and Fey are caught up in loud car chases and quirky meetings and conversations with themselves and others, including big-name actors in cameos, such as a dim, shirtless, hunk security expert (Mark Wahlberg) and a mean mob boss (Ray Liotta). We learn that Fey does not "light up" for Carrell the way she does for the hunk because she is so tired taking care of everyone and everything else day in and day out and just wishes she had some time to herself (Fey has a nice line about wanting to enjoy a day that does not somehow depend on how someone else around her is doing). For his part, Carrell says he wants his wife to have more confidence in him and let him shoulder more home and family responsibilities. In a hasty, contrived, anticlimactic ending on a rooftop with everyone pointing guns at each other and the cliché of the police helicopter swooping in at the last minute, Carrell is made out to be the hero.

Parts of the dialogue and scenes with the divorcing friends (Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig, good in the roles) and with Carrell and Fey having a heart-to-heart talk had some originality, silly fun, and emotional truth to them. Fey sometimes shot out an unexpectedly earthy line that was funny, and Carrell had some funny moments trying to act and talk tough, as did the two of them making up stories mocking other diners in the restaurants with them. The blackmailing couple was humorously offbeat in the fairly short scene in which they appear.

But this was far too little to carry a movie, even one this short. In fact, the material would not even compress well into a good Saturday Night Live skit. The Out-of-Towners, with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, is certainly not one of my favorite movies, but it is an insult to compare that fuller, livelier film to this one. The closest comparison to Date Night that I can think of in terms of my surprise and disappointment is Dana Carvey's disastrous 2002 film Master of Disguise.

Rarely have I seen a movie with as much on-camera talent turn out to be as skimpy and superficial as Date Night. The story was paper-thin. Never once did I laugh out loud. There were long stretches of dead time, filled with unfunny rambling (as when the couple are led in the park by thugs), with drawn-out and unoriginal cameos (especially by Liotta, who did not have a single funny line or action), and with noisy chase scenes (including a car chase that went on and on repetitively, endlessly trying to milk supposedly funny lines from a cab driver). Even the scene with Carrell and Fey on a stripper pole lost whatever novelty it had fast and came off as drawn-out and forced. The ending, in which Carrell supposedly proved himself to his wife, fell completely flat, without being the least bit clever, interesting, or believable. Much of the plot and gags felt recycled.

There were problems even with Fey and Carrell. Her flat detachment and his nerdy, gushing boyishness never came together to make them convincing as a seasoned working suburban couple or gave them much on-screen chemistry or rapport. The supporting characters of the thugs and police were weak, especially the all-knowing, glib policewoman who seemed on to the bad guys from the start, sapping any suspense. The bad guys, who included some corrupt cops and a sleazy political figure who hung out stoned in strip clubs while promising in public to clean up crime, are stock characters with nothing original or interesting about them. The same is true of the unfunny out-takes pasted onto the end credits, which, as another reviewer said, only suggest the cast had a lot more fun making the movie than the audience had watching it.

I wanted to like this movie as much as any of the breathlessly enthusiastic reviews on this site. But like other, better reviews, no matter how much I liked the stars and saw bits and pieces here and there to enjoy, there is no way to paper over how disappointing it was.
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"Date Night" is a real treat for Tina Fay and Steve Carell fans!
MovieManMenzel12 April 2010
Before I start talking about the movie itself, I would first like to point out that I am big fans of both of the stars involved with this film. Tina Fay is not only a beautiful woman but probably one of the funniest people in Hollywood. She is an amazing writer and I absolutely adore her show "30 Rock." As for Steve Carell, he is one of those actors who I really enjoy watching on the big screen and small screen. I have seen almost everything he has done from "Little Miss Sunshine" to "The 40 Year Old Virgin" and he has been really good at "most" of the roles he has played. With that being said when I saw the trailer for "Date Night" I was very excited to see what the end result of the film would be. So when the film finally opened in theaters, I made my journey to my local multiplex and treat myself to a "Date Night."

"Date Night" tells the story of the Fosters who are your typical American family. As part of their normal married routine, once a week Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fay) go out on a date to a local restaurant. One day after spending a night at their friends house, they learn just how mundane and routine marriage can be. After thinking about her own marriage, Claire decides she wants to make next week's date night special. She decides to get all dressed up to surprise Phil. When Phil comes home from work and sees Claire dressed to the nines, he decides that tonight is the night to switch it up for the better. Claire and Phil venture out to the newest Manhattan restaurant on a Friday night without a reservation. Once they get to the restaurant and get denied a table, Phil and Claire pose as "the Triplehorns" in order to get seated. While eating they get approached by two goons who think they are "the Triplehorns." This is where the fun begins as Phil and Claire's simple date night has turned into a night of mistaken identity and running for their lives from crooked cops and the mob. Lots of laughs and catchy one liners ensue...

Steve Carell's performance of Phil Foster was hilarious. He plays a combination of his "Get Smart" character and his "40 Year Old Virgin" character in the film. I think what makes me enjoy Steve Carell the most is that he seems like a typical down to earth guy. He is never over the top funny or zany guy like say Will Ferrell or Jim Carrey but just comes off like a normal "nice" and "funny" guy. As for Tina Fay, well she is great here. I think her one-liners were just the best. I don't know if she ad-libbed a lot of them but man she had some great lines. I also feel this role was a bit different from her normal roles, which I liked. While you do see her become "Liz Lemon" here at times, you also see a dirtier and different side of Tina Fay here. As for the other roles, there are a lot of famous faces who pop up here and there in the film including a funny appearance by Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, and Mila Kunis just to name a few.

Shawn Levy was the man in the director's chair. He is probably best known for directing the "Night at the Museum" films. I personally have seen most of Shawn Levy's films and have to admit while he isn't a great director, he is good at what he does. He is really good at creating fun films whether they are geared towards kids or adults. For the most part, I actually enjoy most of the films he directed. I think Mr. Levy knows his limitations and doesn't try to go above and beyond his means, which is a good thing. "Date Night" is probably his best film to date to be fair and if nothing else it's definitely his funniest.

"Date Night" was written by Josh Klausner who was the man responsible for writing the dull and lackluster "Shrek the Third." Luckily, Mr. Klausner redeemed himself with this film. I thought the dialogue was extremely well written and funny. The situations the two leads were placed in here humorous to say the least. Some of the scenes were just down right hilarious! Without giving too much away, the car scene as well as the strip club scene were two of the best in the film. I think after seeing this film now, I have more hope for "Shrek Ever After," which I was originally dreading to see since the last one was almost unwatchable since it was so dull and boring. But I will have to applaud Mr. Klausner here for writing a fun and enjoyable film.

Bottom Line: MovieManMenzel's final rating for "Date Movie" is a solid 8 out of 10. I admit I had a big smile on my face when I left the theater. "Date Night" was one of those movies where I just had a good time watching it. I think if you enjoy the whole "action/comedy" genre you will probably get a good kick out of it. If your fans of either Tina Fay or Steve Carell this is definitely a must see for you. I think overall it's a funny little film. It's nothing fresh or original but its definitely something that is brainless fun for 90 mins. Also, be sure to stay for the credits as there are a ton of outtakes during and after the credits, which are very funny.
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Is this it?
plikistheone23 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Date Night starts off by showing us 2 nobodies who suck at their lives (Tina Fey and Steve Carell) trying to spice up their crappy marriage by going on dates. On one of them, they take someone else's reservation and get into trouble and the hilarity ensues when they're starting to get chased by two crooked policemen, which sounds all well and good. In theory.

The thing is, nothing in this so-called comedy is pulled off right. The main characters are mind numbingly stupid (*SPOILER*how to get into a restricted club? Pretend you're a 'pimp daddy' and 'whore' while looking like bums and making use of bad slang as awkwardly as possible*SPOILER*), yet so is everyone else in the movie (*CONTINUED SPOILER*the bouncer of said club actually falls for it*SPOILER*), but this isn't where the stupidity ends. The whole plot is full of it.

The comedic timing is bad and the jokes are lame, and even James Franco, at first a pleasant surprise, managed to get screwed up and did a textbook performance of 'how movie references are not done'. Maybe part of what was supposed to be funny was the awkwardness of the main characters, but believe me, the more awkward they get, the more you'll start cringing. Yet the movie thinks you're laughing and going forward with jokes that are straight up worst of the decade.

The plot itself is extremely predictable - only in one sense though, because you don't expect some of the even stupider plot turns. A very big disappointment, because during the hour and thirty minutes of cringing it got 2 small chuckles out of me. Obvious cash-in, nothing to see here.

If I was to find a good thing about the movie at a gunpoint, it would be Mark Wahlberg, which is why this movie receives 2/10.
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Expiration Date
flapdoodle648 June 2011
Steve Carrell has over-leveraged and over-extended his modest comedic skills far beyond their limits, and as a result his comedic value has collapsed like the real estate bubble.

Tina Fey is a great comedic writer but she doesn't have much range as a performer.

Neither of these flaws would be fatal if this film had a decent script, but of course it doesn't.

This is a comedy without jokes, without witty lines, and without protagonists for whom we care. The central plot is so implausible that we cannot identify with it, nor is sufficiently absurd or satiric so as to be interesting.

My wife and I made it through 45 minutes of this before unanimously voting to turn it off. Save yourself 45 minutes and don't rent this one.
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A very funny movie with plenty of laughs. Carell and Fey are in top form.
dvc51598 April 2010
I never was a fan of director Shawn Levy's films. Sure, "Big Fat Liar" and the 2006 version of "The Pink Panther" did get some memorable moments, but they weren't THAT re-watchable. A good, funny movie is something that you can remember for quite some time, and I had a hard time remembering something memorable from "Cheaper By The Dozen" and "Just Married". However Levy isn't a bad director, it's just that he needs one good funny movie to really hit it off. No, the two "Night At The Museum" movies don't count. This one does. "Date Night", thus far, is the best movie Levy's directed.

By taking two of the funniest comedians today and putting them in a movie tailor-made for them is somewhat like a blessing. "Date Night" is a romantic comedy, with a slight detour into the action thriller genre. But it still has many laughs, big hearty ones, especially from both Carell and Fey. You see, both of them play a bored married couple who decides to liven up their love life by going into a posh (and extremely snobbish/overbooked) restaurant in the Big Apple. So the loving husband, desperate to work things out, claims (or rather, steals) an unoccupied reservation so that their night together would be romantic and luxurious. Big mistake, as they are mistaken for someone else, which leads to a night of danger, intrigue and excitement.

The best thing about the movie are both Carell and Fey and how well both play each other off. Both have excellent chemistry and have memorable moments and lines. Steve Carell is perfect as the dead-pan husband Phil, while Tina Fey as Claire looks gorgeous and deliver her own brand of jazzy humor. A fine example of their chemistry together is a scene where both of them ad-libs many couples in the film. Great stuff. To quote an early Australian reviewer; "The two surprisingly "deliver the emotional reality of a couple even under comedic demands". I loved them in the movie and I hope they do more comedies together.

There are jokes throughout the movie, both physical and in dialog. A fine example of the physical humor in the film: a car chase that is intense as it is ridiculously funny; and what is arguably the most hilarious strip/pole- dance I've seen in any movie. That scene had me laughing so much, I now have to take cough syrup. There's some memorable lines here too: "You stole our reservation? What kind of people are you?"; "He turned the gun sideways. It's a killshot!" among others. To see these two comedians going through all this in a plot so hilariously Hitchcockian (the plot kinda reminds me of "North By Northwest") is a hoot.

Balancing the comedians out are some fine supporting actors; in fact you could call the cast an ensemble cast of sorts. Besides Carell and Fey, you've got Mark Wahlberg who looks hunky shirtless, to Phil's dismay; Oscar-nominee Taraji P. Henson as a detective trying to put the pieces together; Mila Kunis and James Franco in nearly scene-stealing scenes as a wild couple who enjoy their love life despite their rowdiness; Common and Jimmi Simpson as the two pursuers; William Fichtner in a hilarious yet sleazy performance; and a villainous role for (surprise) Ray Liotta.

In technical aspects, Shawn Levy's direction is brisk and fast-paced, and the cinematography and camera work, as always by Dean Semler, is nothing short of great. The editing is fluid and doesn't ruin the smooth flow of the movie. The script, though with some flaws, is still pretty well written. Yes I agree the movie is illogical and clichéd at some points but then again it's a light-hearted comedy at it's core and for that purpose it got the job done tremendously. Plus at only 90 minutes it's pretty much short and straightforward with it's pace, so that you get what you want. Comedic entertainment at it's finest.

So overall, this is a great romantic comedy to take both your friends and/or your other too. It's a very funny and enjoyable movie to watch. It's a jolly good time at the movies, and I'm glad I saw it. Hey, maybe I'll see it again if I had the chance. This one's a winner.

Overall rating: 7.5/10 (Very good, worth your time and money)
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Unbelievable high ratings on this movie
pat_the_max1 February 2011
Could not sit through this... Totally awful material. Not funny at all. A waste of time. Empathizing with the characters was not even possible, they just act plain stupid and senseless. After 30 minutes nothing slightly funny had happened. Steve Carell in the 40 year old virgin, still difficult to empathize with his character, but 100 times more funnier. So if you're really bored and have no alternative movie title laying around.... The movie is also categorized as romantic and in the crime area... so i know it is not 100% a comedy, but still senseless material. Cannot imagine anyone acting this way in real life...maybe Forrest Gump...
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Define Funny, because this isn't it.
theoneis20 April 2010
I have seen both actors in very funny movies, but this isn't one of them. The plot and premise are just so weak that the writing should have been much stronger to carry it. This film has to be at least one notch lower than "The Spy Nextdoor". I love Chan's movies but failed to find the humor in, "The Spy Nextdoor". This movie didn't have funny lines the chase scene was weak, and for the most part I fail to find anything amusing about this film.

I must admit that I had never seen Tina Fey's legs before. Those were great. Can someone please put something out that is actually funny or is this part of the dumbing down of America?
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What a Horrible Film!!
hussar-855-58179726 September 2010
This film is absolutely awful. I'll never understand why film-writers of today seem to think that sexual innuendo in its rawest form constitutes good humor. In his review, even Roger Ebert seems to miss this very important point. Though comics like Steve Carroll and Tina Fey have the potential to do good humor, they repeatedly fail, and just like Saturday Night Live has slipped into the unfortunate habit of relying upon frequent use of sexual innuendo (simply repeating the word "penis" without a context might be funny to a middle-schooler, but it quickly loses it's charm to the initiated) the writers of this film continually attempt to use juvenile potty humor as a poor substitute for genuine comedy.

This tells us volumes about what Hollywood thinks about mainstream America, i.e. about you and I and our sophistication and moral status as viewers. What happened to teams like Monty Python that could make you roll without dropping a single crude word? What happened to great film-writers who didn't feel they had to push the social envelope all the way to the gutter to get a laugh? Do they not know that the best elements of humor are those that are subtle, i.e. those that require the viewer to insert something? The funnies scenes from this film are, as one might expect, the ones that contain none of this. Get a grip, Hollywood! You're out of touch!

If you have any self respect, save your money.
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mke gans (mlgans)19 May 2010
I feel that this film, composed as a multi-genre production, failed overall. I feel that the film tried to combine romance, comedy, and action. I understand the value of a well formed romantic comedy, but I feel that this film tried to involve serious romantic moments while promoting itself more as a comedy. The action scenes were rather ridiculous, but I suppose that is to be expected with this type of movie. I thoroughly enjoy Tina Fey in Saturday Night Live, as well as Steve Carell in The Office, and was rather looking forward to them as a duo, but I was ultimately disappointed. The more serious moments of romance between the two seemed forced and fake. I truly laughed for only a small fraction of the movie, but for the rest of it, I was ultimately bored. The outcome was totally predictable, and I wasn't disappointed. I would recommend this movie only as a last resort.
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Unfunny waste of money
ckgibson200716 August 2010
This movie is not even a rental. There is nothing worse than a comedy that is completely unfunny. The first 15 minutes were boring. We were waiting for something, anything funny. Nothing. The plot you've seen before, many times. Nothing believable. Surely when they (Tina and Steve) were making this movie they realized this would be a bomb. If I was at a theater I would have walked out. I think they went for a PG 13 rating by using the f word once. Don't waste your time on this one. The acting wasn't awful but I couldn't help but think back to Rush Hour when Chris Tucker said "do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth"; and putting a thought bubble over Tina Fey saying "why is nothing funny coming out of my mouth."
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Date Fright
MrPink0816 April 2010
How exactly can you mess up a movie with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey as your main stars? Both are stars of two of the best shows on TV (I love Carrell's The Office, but I'm not a fan of Fey's 30 Rock) and have played their share of memorable characters on the big screen (Carrell as a weatherman who can't think in Anchorman and Fey as a teacher in Mean Girls) but when they share the screen for Date Night, they are ruined by trying to make a weak script funny.

Carrell and Fey play the Fosters, a boring New Jersey couple. The opening scenes where they introduce the Fosters are lagging and boring. Things should pick up when they go to New York for a fancy dinner and Carrell takes another couple's table, leading to series of misadventures for the poor couple. Due to a case of mistaken identity, they are caught up in a scheme involving crooked cops and gangsters. Needless to say, this barely makes any sense.

Usually, I'm all for celebrity cameos, but Date Night took it too far. Mila Kunis, Leighton Meester, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, William Fitchner, and Ray Liotta all make cameos. Wahlberg's cameo is very amusing, but the rest are either dumb (Fitchner), pointless (Meester), or too brief (Kunis, Franco and Liotta). Your focus should be on Carrell and Fey, but instead you're going star watching for half the movie. The cameo loses its so called "sacredness" when nearly every bit part is played by an A-lister.

Overall, Date Night could've been hilarious but is brought by its weak script and dumb plot. For your next date night, do yourself a favor and don't subject yourself to Carrell and Fey's.
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Desperate attempt to be funny scrambling for a plot
essandgee8331 July 2010
A good idea is set up where married couple stuck in routine learn of a friend's impending divorce and decide to try something different - a trip to the city for dinner. Unfortunately, after we get this 10 minutes of watchable, promising footage behind us a schizophrenic plot turn changes the entire character of the movie. It is obvious the original idea could not be sustained long enough and so it lapses into a bizarre crime caper that leaves the viewer wondering what happened. The writers do not even do us the courtesy of a gentle transition and make it worse by trying to make it up with desperate throw-backs to the original premise here and there that are just not believable. Overall, it is a disjointed, tiresome tirade that never quite made the transition from idea to movie. It is painful to watch, and a real pity, because Tina Fey has a lot of potential as an actress just breaking in from TV and embarrasses herself with this cheap attempt at entertainment.
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