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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.
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?
Tina Fey + Steve Carell = A funny and surprisingly heartwarming film.
Their on-screen chemistry is very good. They play the role as parents
"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.
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.
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.
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.
*** This review may contain 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.
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")
*** This review may contain 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.
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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