Rated PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference.
Date Night was a ridiculous but ultimately entertaining film that highlighted the comedy talents of its two stars.
Phil and Claire Foster have a typical suburban relationship. Married with two kids, they work hard and rarely have time for themselves. So once a week, they have a date night which usually involves going to the same restaurant, eating the same food, and playing a game where they try and figure out other patrons life stories. But one night, after learning of another couples impending divorce, they decide to do something different and go into Manhattan for a night on the town. They choose the most exclusive place in the city and in order to get a table, steal someone else's reservation. This leads to a comedy of errors where they're mistaken for the other couple and end up being chased throughout the city by a couple of thugs who aren't who they seem. They go from one wild situation to another trying to save their lives and ultimately realizing that maybe their suburban life isn't so bad.
Date Night isn't going to be a critical favorite, but I liked it. I'm a big fan of both Steve Carell and Tina Fey and the two of them worked perfectly as a married couple. They seemed really right for each other as two people who really loved the other, but were caught in a rut. There was just enough in their relationship that you could see how they'd one night decide to do something different and head into Manhattan for dinner. You could even see them stealing someone else's reservation. Then the main plot of the movie start and everything after that defied belief. The things they go through could only happen in a movie, but hey, this was a movie after all.
So once the story kicked in where the thugs think the Fosters are someone else, the plot of the movie becomes completely ridiculous. They're mistaken for a couple who is trying to blackmail a mob boss and the hit men sent after them are trying to retrieve a USB drive which has some incriminating information on it. How an accountant and real estate agent could outrun thugs, the mob and the cops all while coming up with a scheme to save themselves is beyond belief. Chances are in real life they'd have died in the alleyway behind the restaurant and we'd be reading about it in the papers. But, through sheer luck and determination, the happy couple manages to run all over NYC (one of them in heels), find a former Black Ops operative to help them (all while he's shirtless), and take down some really bad people, all in the same night. Oh, and they also manage to run a perfectly good sports car by driving it into the river.
So putting the nonsensical plot aside, the movie had some really funny moments. First off, if you like the comedy style of either Carell or Fey, there's no doubt you'll like this movie. Both were in rare form during the movie, whether it was something simple as a line reading (when Fey is trying to sell a million dollar home to a couple early on) or putting themselves into characters (like at the strip club) they're on their game. I'm a big fan of both so I might have been pre-disposed to liking the movie. The trailers don't really let you see the comedy inside. There's a couple of running gags in the film that I thought were pretty good - one where everyone gets on their case for stealing a reservation (forgetting everything else they've had to go through) and another where Mark Wahlberg refuses to put a shirt on. There's a short scene where Carell and Fey go back to the restaurant to try and get some info and they turn into this ultra-hip couple (see more in the outtakes during the credits) that was pretty funny. But my favorite scene was probably the strip club.
First off, Tina Fey looked ridiculously hot as a stripper. Carell's reaction to seeing his wife dressed as an 80s (1880s) whore was pretty dead-on. But then the two of them have to convince a bad guy that they're real strippers and the two of them put on a show that you have to see to believe. And the best part is, it just keeps going. It's not a quick 30 second shot of them dancing, it goes on for a few minutes and it just keeps getting better and better. And that's how I felt about the movie in general. It picks up the pace as it goes along and it just keeps getting funnier and funnier. Yes, the story is ridiculous, but it's still a pretty damn entertaining movie.
THE BOTTOM LINE
So overall, I liked Date Night. It's got a dumb story but the two leads manage to carry the day and give you a lighthearted, fun movie that's a good escape from our own lives.