Date Night Review

This film is entertaining. How could it not be, when it stars both Tina Fey and Steve Carell? In Date Night, the quirky twosome team up to play run of the mill suburban couple Phil and Claire Fosterfrom New Jersey, whose marital spark has hilariously gone completely out the window.Their two kids are hyperactive, their jobs are draining, and they’re stuck in a mind numbing day to day routine. Something always gets in the way of their intimacy, whether it be the demands of their jobs, kids, or Claire going to bed wearing her mouth guard before Phil suggests they fool around.When a mutual friend decides to separate from his wife, claiming they’ve just become “really great roommates,” Phil fears the same might be true for him and Claire, and decides to do something about it.

In an attempt to rekindle some romance, Phil takes Claire on a spontaneous romantic dinner date in New York City, something they’ve clearly never made the time to do. He decidesto take her to the insanely popular, and thus difficult to get into, seafood restaurant Claw that Claire has always wanted to try, and things go wrong from the start. They run into a ridiculous amount of traffic, are duped into giving panhandlers money and a lengthy explanation, and try unsuccessfully toget into the restaurant without a reservation.At first it looks like they might have to call it quits and head back to the burbs, but then Phil hears the hostess call out “Tripplehorn, party of two” and jumps on it. They have a lovely multi-course meal, exchange some witty banter, which includes looking around the room at other couples and guessing at the dialogue between them, overall having a grand old time.

At the end of the meal, full, and liquored up, the two are approached by what they think is the restaurant management come to give them a slap on the wrist, but turn out to be hit men looking for the real Tripplehorns.They’re taken out back and held at gun point, thus setting into motion a huge debacle in mistaken identity: their journey as the Tripplehorns, thieves on the run from the law. They get into deeper and deeper trouble the harder they try to get themselves out, whether it be by breaking and entering (more than once), or, most amazingly, posing as strippers in an underground club. This scene makes the film in my opinion. They surprise themselves and each other continuously along the way, and inadvertently regain the spark they were so missing.

There’s a cute cameo by Mark Wahlberg, as the successful and perpetually shirtless hunk Holbrooke, a real estate client Claire once had (and conveniently remembers) who can help them find the real Tripplehorns.Holbrooke and Claire flirt continuously, citing all the “meaningful time they spent together” ultimately at Phil’s expense.There’s also an appearance by James Franco, as one half of the real Tripplehorn couple, whose chaotically affectionate relationship with his wife makes Claire and Phil realize how much they appreciate one another.

This film is a bit of a one trick pony, as the couple’s mistaken identity is the running joke throughout the movie, but their zinging one liners and attempts at problem solving are entertaining enough to make the viewer wonder how much of it was improvised.

DVD Bonus Features

Hilarious gag reel and outtakes. A section entitled “Directing 301” which gives an inside look at the making of Date Night in New York City, starring the director of the film, Shawn Levy. It shows just how much effort and how many people it takes to make a film; such as “lockdowns”, which means shutting down the street so the actors can safely cross, watering down the street to pick up lighting effects and accentuate “night,” or changing shooting order due to inclement weather. It makes you realize why actors might not like watching their own films, since everything is shot out of order and isn’t linear the way editing would make us believe.Also a section called “Directing Off Camera” where Levy shouts off camera suggestions at Tina and Steve during their striptease at the Peppermint Hippo.

"Date Night" is on sale August 10, 2010 and is rated PG13. Comedy. Directed by Shawn Levy. Written by Josh Klausner. Starring James Franco, Taraji P Henson.

Aug
15
2010
Marissa Quenqua • Staff Writer

Six Feet Under is her favorite TV show, with The L Word and Sex and the City coming in second and third, respectively. Always up for discovering a new favorite, she also enjoys True BloodNurse Jackie, and Mad Men. Marissa has a background in writing, editing, and cinema studies.

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