Movie Review: 'Date Night'
Tina Fey and Steve Carell star in "Date Night"
As part of the target demographic for Shawn Levy's Date Night we felt that the set up of the movie humorously and effectively communicated what it is about the daily grind of marriage-with-children that can drive couples apart. The compromises one makes and the minor inconveniences can amount to something that isn't so minor. In recognition that their marriage might be in danger, Phil and Claire Foster, the couple in question, played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey (you'd have to be living in a box for the last 6 months to not know this), throw themselves into the evening that results in the hijinks that make up the body of the film.We get what we expect from Carell and Fey, no surprises or disappointments from them, they come off as an incredibly believable married couple. If, from what we understand, significant portions of the dialogue were ad-libbed, they did a great job and deserve the title of "First Couple of Comedy" that is jokingly being bestowed upon them.
The supporting actors, all capable, seem to be relatively underutilized by the script. The "bad guys" are portrayed by the rapper Common who is OK, and Jimmy Simpson, who has been hilarious in the past as a semi-regular on "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia". Oscar and SAG award-nominated Taraji P. Henson (whom we've photo'd many times) plays a straight-man cop for Carell and Fey to bounce jokes off of, not really the best use for her talents and beauty.
Perhaps the biggest lost opportunity casting was that of Bill Burr, easily one of the funniest and most dynamic performers out there, who plays the most one-dimensional characters in the script, Detective Walsh. We know that this experience is going to fill out Burr's resume and this will help him get up the ladder but we just want the movie that has Burr as the star to come out sooner than later. The only other really exceptional performance in the film was that of Mila Kunis who doesn't get much more than a cameo as the skid-row stripper, Whippit, but she fully takes advantage of the opportunity.
Date Night is worth the effort of making a date night. You'll have a good time at it, and other than a silly car chase scene that goes about five minutes longer than it should, we couldn't find anything else that interfered with the performances of the "First Couple of Comedy".