Directed by Shawn Levy
Starring Steve Carell, Tiny Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Taraji P. Henson, Jimmi Simpson
Heidi Illustrious Rating: 4/5
Word of Warning: Good clean fun. Reminiscent of a comedy from the late 80s or early 90s, “Date Night” doesn’t rely on the type of “shock comedy” that has become so popular, making this one okay for the older kids, but best for a date night.
The Foster family lives an ordinary life in New Jersey. Phil (Steve Carell) is a tax attorney and Claire (Tina Fey) is a real estate agent. They have two kids, a nice house in the suburbs, and they have one date night per week that involves going to a local steakhouse and talking about their kids.
When he learns of a friend’s impending divorce, Phil decides he and Claire need to spice it up a bit, so he takes her on a special date night to the City. However, when the couple steals a table reservation that isn’t theirs, they get involved in a bit more excitement than either bargained for.
The storyline doesn’t make a lot of sense, but together Carell and Fey are comic genius. And despite the nonsensical nature of the plot, the two actors are truly believable as Phil and Claire Foster; neither comedian goes overboard in their portrayal of this average couple from the burbs. It’s the stuff that happens to Phil and Claire that make this a funny movie, and the dialogue between the two is very clever.
The commercial for “Date Night” has been comparing it to “The Hangover,” but this is not a good comparison. Although both films are very funny, this one doesn’t rely on shock comedy, but rather dialogue, chemistry and physical comedy.
With the rise of such movies as “Hot Tub Time Machine“ and “The Hangover” I had started to believe Hollywood had lost the ability to make a straight up, old-fashion kind of comedy, but “Date Night” renews my confidence. Perhaps the menstruation jokes and toilet humor so popular of late, was just a fleeting trend? Probably not, but “Date Night” is a refreshing return to comedy that won’t make you squirm in your seat, but is still funny and relatable.
This movie isn’t groundbreaking, and they gave away many of the funniest scenes in the previews for “Date Night” but still, it will make you laugh. I think this movie is worth full price, and running time of only 88 minutes you can afford to get a babysitter for a couple hours and take your honey on a real movie date night. Just don’t steal anyone’s reservation.