MOVIE REVIEW – ‘Date Night’

Review by J.T. Johnson

DIRECTOR: Shawn Levy
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Dean Semler
WRITER: Josh Klausner
MUSIC: Christophe Beck

Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a husband and wife that just want to have a relaxing evening together and away from the kids. Like most couples, Phil and Claire Foster have a weekly date night. When they are over at their friends’ house, the Fosters learn that the two friends, Haley and Brad Sullivan (Kristen Wiig and Mark Ruffalo) are going to separate from each other.

This begins to make Phil and Claire concerned for their marriage. So, one night, Phil decides to take Claire to the Claw, a trendy new restaurant in Manhattan. When they can’t get in, Phil hears the waitress calling for the Tripplehorns. Phil takes the reservation and they finally get to have a fun night. That is until two men (Common and Jimmi Simpson) force them into an ally and ask for a jump drive.

Not knowing what they are talking about, Phil and Claire eventually escape from the men and go to the cops. Unfortunately, the two men that were after them are cops. Now, not knowing who to trust, the Fosters go it alone in what has to be one of the zaniest adventures that one couple could go on.

One of the best examples of how crazy this ride gets is when Phil and Claire are trying to get away from the two men. They get into a car and eventually crash into a taxi. They are attached to the cab and one of the funniest and unique car chases ensues.

Beyond the craziness found in the movie, this film would not work if two amateur actors were put into the roles of Phil and Claire. Fortunately for the film, it boasts two of the funniest people in Hollywood right now with Carell and Fey. Despite having good comedic chops, though, the next big question is whether or not they work well together.

Fortunately, they do. What makes it even better is the fact that they choose to get rid of the straight person who is usually there to support the more humorous of the two. They are both completely insane when they have to be and completely sincere when the film hits its more serious notes.

Carell has never had any problem making a fool out of himself for the sake of a laugh. This is one of the most enduring qualities that Fey also has as an actress. She is not worried about how she looks on camera and whether or not there is enough focus on her good side. When Carell is at his craziest, Fey can sometimes be even crazier.

The film also supports one hell of a supporting cast as well. Mark Wahlberg, Ray Liotta and William Fichtner are all in the film to have a good time and it shows. The best cameos in the film have to go to James Franco and Mila Kunis. When they have their moment in front of the camera, they almost steal the show from the film’s two leads.

Now, despite the film’s strong cast, the film does have some minor problems. There are jokes that fall flat and the situations the two characters sometimes find themselves in are completely unrealistic. If anyone in the audience can’t deal with this, then they need to skip it.

This is a comedy in its truest form. While there are some insanely unrealistic situations to be found throughout the movie, a very strong cast and some genuinely funny moments make this a film to see.

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