DATE NIGHT (B+)
The dynamic duo of Tina Fey and Steve Carell moonlight as the lead characters in Date Night, the driving force to the overall success of the film, and the main appeal of this comedy. These two are an absolutely hilarious pair, but also provide the story some depth in the portrayal of their characters. Fans of either of these actors will probably be pleased, because Date Night is a must see.
The movie follows an aging married couple, Phil and Claire Foster, who routinely go out on dates, but dates that are always the same. The dates turn out to be nothing but habit as opposed to a night of fun and enjoying each others company. After seeing their friend's seemingly normal and happy marriage go sour, the Fosters fear they may be headed down the same path.
To shake things up on date night the two dress fancy and head into New York City to go to dinner at a trendy and expensive restaurant. Upon arrival at a thriving seafood restaurant the Fosters discover there are no tables available, for months. In a snap decision, Phil pretends to be a party waiting for their table and the two trick their way into a coveted spot in the dining area.
With the Fosters sitting at a table that does not belong to them it creates the old mistaken identity problem, but in the worst way. Two tough looking characters (Common, Jimmi Simpson) come to the table demanding an item of value they think the Fosters possess.
From here, a kaleidoscope of problems transpire introducing a star studded cast of actors like: Mark Wahlberg, William Fictner, Ray Liotta, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Taraji P. Henson, Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo, and even Will i Am. The sheer depth of the cast is pretty impressive.
The filmmakers do a fine job of establishing the nature of this project. The characters, the conflict, the mostly un-serious tone, and the progression to solve the dilemma are all well defined. At times Date Night seems to have difficultly walking the fine line of combining comedy and serious drama; but the screenwriter Josh Klausner created a strong comedic tone early helping the movie dabble in both genres.
The script evolves the story swiftly and with hilarity. Fey and Carell are the main piece of this jovial energy, but the conversation in the film is full of great comedic dialogue. I laughed hysterically more than a few times in this film which is more than I have from a comedy in awhile.
Aside from all the burst out laughter, there were plenty of other well placed comedic elements causing me to be ripe with a smile or a small chuckle. Date Night featured a lot of creeping jokes. By this I mean the full humor of the joke doesn't hit you til your brain processes the information into hilarity.
Overall, Date Night is a perfect escape from reality into the comical world ruled by Tina Fey and Steve Carell. This movie is a perfect example of what it means to be entertained for an hour and a half. It is a ridiculous movie that allows the viewer to sit back, take in the simplistic narrative, and enjoy the funny situations these two get themselves in.
Not all will like this movie (three out of us four who saw it loved it), but if taken for what it is, Date Night can be enjoyed by all fans of Fey and Carell. The great blending of comedy with a serious predicament makes this well executed combination very satisfying if you don't over-think it, and just let yourself enjoy it.