Movie Review: Date Night

To be honest, Date Night didn’t look like it would be a fabulous comedy from the trailers. I personally have a beef with Steve Carell playing the dumbest man on Earth in The Office. However, I love Tina Fey; who doesn’t want her life?

Date Night is the story of Phil and Claire Foster, a married couple in the suburbs of New Jersey with kids, full time jobs and no time for romance. Each week, a nanny comes over and gives them a date night which lets them spend their time at the local restaurant with their regular salmon and potato skins. After a full day of working and taking care of two kids, they are both so tired, that after their peaceful dinner out making fun of other couples, they don’t have any steam left in the tank for romance.

After hearing that another couple they hang out with a lot is splitting, they decide to try and spice things up by going for dinner downtown at a fancy new restaurant in Manhattan. With no reservation, there is little hope that they will get a table on a Saturday night, but when the Tripplehorns are called for their table and it seems they are a no show, Phil takes the initiative and claims they are the Tripplehorns.

From there, they get into some hairy situations with some not so nice people mistaking them for the real Tripplehorns and a missing flash drive. They quickly become involved in the mafia, black mail, bad cops and finding the real Tripplehorns.

So, this film actually surpassed my expectations and gave me such a laugh that I really needed. Steve Carell was not annoying at all. In fact, he was more like himself and nothing like Michael from Scranton, which was wonderful. Tina Fey was classic as usual with her quick wit and down to Earth jokes that everyone can relate to. The humor in this film will definitely appeal to anyone that is married or is in a serious relationship. I have only been married for three years, but there were so many jokes that even I could relate to. Also, if you have young kids to boot, you will really feel like you’re in their shoes.

There were so many great actors filling small roles that just added to the humor. Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig make an appearance in the beginning, James Franco and Mila Kunis play the real Tripplehorns that look like they mirror the Foster’s relationship of problems and were hilarious. Mark Wahlberg plays Holbrooke, an old real estate client of Claire’s that they come to for help and who refuses to put on a shirt. My favorite small role, however, was the taxi driver that they run into, played by J.B. Smoove, who you might recognize as Leon from Curb Your Enthusiasm.

Not only was the film riddled with parenting and marriage jokes, but there was also the slapstick accident humor which went over well. My favorite was the scene with the taxi driver, in which the Foster’s car becomes lodged to the taxi driver’s cab by their grills and while engaging in a high speed chase through the streets of Manhattan, the taxi driver cracked me up with his high-pitched girlie screams, wide eyes and fast talking panic.

I really only have two complaints about this film. One: does Common always have to play the bad guy? I mean, I know he can scowl with the best of them, but I saw his name in the opening credits and knew he would be playing a bad guy. Give the guy a little change once in a while. Two: I love Tina Fey and I know how movies work, but scene after scene she would fall down or get into a windy chase, but by the next scene her hair was perfectly disheveled. You know what I’m talking about. The kind of messed up hair that took an hour of preparation in a makeup chair to accomplish. That sidetracked me a bit, but I guess that’s just an empty complaint because I wish I could look that put together after running from a gunned mad man.

If you are like I was with the trailers, thinking this would just be a ho-hum comedy on the level of those terrible Saturday Night Live sketches-turned movie, you would be wrong. Give Date Night a chance and I know you won’t be asking for your money back afterward, and go with your other half and the two of you will surely be giving each other a look or a nudge with a laugh through this film.

I give Date Night 3.5 “kill shots” out of 5

by Angela Davis

About Angela

Angela is the Editor-in-Chief of Lost in Reviews. She and Ryan created Lost in Reviews together in 2009 out of a mutual hatred for all the stodgy old farts currently writing film reviews. Since launching the site, Angela has enjoyed reviewing indie films over all other films, picking up new music from all corners of the world and photographing live shows. She is the co-host of Blu Monday and a member of the Kansas City Film Critic Circle.

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