STEVE CARELL TINY FEY MARK WAHLBERG TARAJI P. HENSON
It might seem like Tina Fey and Steve Carell would be a match made in comedy heaven but that wouldn’t be the case. Former SNL all star Fey has had great success with her screenwriting and even her dry humor on 3rd Rock. Carell has become one of those comedians who delivers persistently bad, predictable, unfunny movies and this is no exception. From the director Night at the Museum and Cheaper by the Dozen, Date Night offers a few quirky lines but lands on a completely unoriginal format that looks cheap and rushed. The plot to the film is loose and we never feel this happy onscreen couple is in any danger because of their mid action jokes.
Bored married couple Phil (Carell) and Claire (Fey) Foster take a rare date night at an expensive restaurant in New York where they don’t have reservations and pretend to be someone who does. They are approached by two hooligans who mistake them for someone else, forcing the simple minded Fosters to run for their lives around New York City. It would seem neither of them have the skills to outsmart criminals who also happen to be crooked cops, but dumb luck pays off again and again as they slide by the skin of their teeth at every turn.
Date Night is as bad as Fun With Dick and Jane, both out of control spouse movies that rely on one liners to drive the entire movie (Mr. & Mrs. Smith is better than both, but still not great). The good dialogue you already heard in the trailer and everything else you have seen in other movies. Fey who should have been this film's only hope is disappointing and stoops to the rhetorical Carell level. If there is anything interesting going on in this film it’s with Oscar nominee Wahlberg and Oscar nominee Henson who brighten the screen a tiny bit.
Action comedies have never really fared well and it’s simply because that action requires a certain amount of drama to get the audience invested in the danger and suspense. Here that doesn’t exist, no one gets killed, everyone is making perverted inside jokes and the suspense is reduced to zero. Date Night is nothing more than a paycheck for both Fey and Carell the originality is nowhere to be found and the entertainment value is closer to zero.
Final Thought – Worse than a bad first date.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Jennifer Gih