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Date Night (2010)

A 2010 comedy movie directed by Shawn Levy.

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Tina Fey & Steve Carrell are excellent in this frantic, uneven comedy

  • Apr 12, 2010
  • by
In order for a movie packed full of unlikely plot-developments and general silliness like DATE NIGHT, a cast that's easy to love who have razor sharp comic timing and mastery of their tone is needed. Fortunately, Steve Carrell and Tina Fey meet all three requirements, and thus, DATE NIGHT works on many levels.

Carrell and Fey play a nearly middle aged married couple with kids. They have a comfortable suburban life, and are still fond of each other, but they are also clearly just a bit worn out by life. "Date Nights" for them consist of going to a local steak restaurant, with worn-out décor and no sense of romance whatsoever. And in time-honored, clichéd tradition, they wonder if they are still in-love with the other...because they see their closest friends getting divorced. I hate the way Hollywood likes to make us think that no long term marriage could possibly still be happy and fulfilling. True, raising a family and nurturing a career and paying bills and time do take their toll...but mature couples embrace those things. They don't shake their heads with regret over the wild and crazy times they may have missed.

Anyway, I clearly digress. One day, Carrell decides to shake things up just a bit, and invites his wife to go "into the city" to try out a hot new restaurant they've heard of. Naturally, when they arrive, with no reservations, they are treated with withering disdain by the staff...but Carrell hangs in there, and when the name "Tripplehorn" is repeatedly called by the hostess to no avail, Carrell declares that he and his wife are the Tripplehorns and they are seated and begin to enjoy a lovely evening together. Then they are approached by a couple of thuggish men, who escort them to the alley and begin to rough them up. Because apparently the real Tripplehorns are engaged in blackmail, and they are being hunted by some bad men. Thus, Carrell and Fey embark on a pretty wild and crazy Date Night...one in which many silly moments of physical comedy happen to them and equally as many unlikely plot twits.

If you're going to see this movie for a coherent crime drama about two amateurs who foil a crime syndicate...you'll be disappointed. But if, like 99.99% of the people attending, you're hoping for some good laughs and high-quality banter...you'll be mostly pleased. Carrell & Fey deliver and then some. Although these two performers have not really worked together before, they both share a past history with Chicago's famed Second City Improv group, and their comic sensibilities blend together quite nicely. They can take some pretty mundane writing, and produce some remarkable laughs. While I won't go so far as to say that Carrell and Fey (the actors) are clearly affectionate towards each other...you can certainly see the appreciation for each other's skill on their faces. Carrell, in particular, gets a real twinkle of delight in his eyes when Fey delivers a great line. There is nothing serious in their performances, but there is a warmth and camaraderie that are infectious.

They are ably assisted by many good cameos, including a hilarious scene with James Franco and Mila Kunis and a recurring appearance from Mark Wahlberg, who plays a government security consultant (e.g. CIA) who has a lovely apartment and an apparent unwillingness to wear shirts. While Wahlberg isn't really asked to do much except allow Fey and Carrell to react to him...he shows a humor about himself that is often missing in his persona. The invaluable William Finctner shows up later, as does Ray Liotta, playing the character Ray Liotta always does.

The movie also features an unlikely but very funny car chase. Your enjoyment of it will greatly depend on your willingness to utterly suspend disbelief....but if you do, it's funny enough to cause a pain in your side. Other moments of physical comedy fall flatter, even when Fey & Carrell are funny, the stuff they are asked to do sometimes isn't. Again, in lesser hands (say, oh, Gerard Butler & Jennifer Aniston), this movie would be nearly intolerably shrill. But in the end, it's a wonderful tribute to the skills of its two stars and while it's not a classic screwball comedy, it is still well worth your time.

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December 12, 2010
I enjoyed this but I can't say I liked it. I am a sucker for Tina Fey LOL! nice review!
More Date Night (2010 movie) reviews
review by . December 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Sometimes a good movie is all we need. ‘Date Night' isn't a great film, and maybe it doesn't try to be one, but we all know there are times when only a good film is our best diversion.      It's hard to decide at first if ‘Date Night' is a comedy or adventure, so once we get our bearings--at least for me I found a few surprises--we can settle on comedy adventure as the alleged genre.      Small screen protagonists, Steve Carrell …
Quick Tip by . November 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Surprisingly hilarious. I'm not usually a fan of American comedies (too formulaic), but this film was great and it's all due to the comedic chemistry between Tina Fey and Steve Carell.
review by . November 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
 ** out of ****      “Date Night” has too much on its hands. It tries desperately to be some sort of action-comedy-romance thing, and in doing so can’t manage to by any of those things. It’s neither funny enough, thrilling enough, nor touching enough to make its mark. Sure, it makes the most out of its talented cast, but even that’s not enough to save “Date Night” from being dull, mostly unfunny, and completely generic in every way. …
Quick Tip by . September 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
meh. mostly predictable and only somewhat funny, just reinforced my feeling that you can't make a feature length film out of an SNL skit concept (which this wasn't, but essentially the same idea). just not enough there to pull off a whole movie, imo
Quick Tip by . September 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not bad, some plot devices felt really contrived but the performances of Fey and Carrell manages to exude a lot of energy and entertainment. Quite interesting how a romantic-family comedy can turn into a crime comedy/heist film; while not totally unpredictable, it was very enjoyable. [3 out of 5]
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What a great movie. Although I felt like the first and second act of the movie were extremely solid, the final act felt very rushed. You could tell there were a ton of on set reshoots to help put this movie together in the editing room. I felt like it was a little too convenient that they tricked them to go onto the roof and there were cops there...maybe a little more explanation would have helped =). But all in all I thought it was a great "Date Night" movie to see with my girlfriend...get it Date …
review by . April 11, 2010
We All Could Use a Good Date Night
DATE NIGHT   Written by Josh Clausner   Directed by Shawn Levy   Starring Steve Carrell, Tina Fey and Mark Wahlberg    Claire Foster: No! When he says,” vagina”, he means your face.    Before the day has even started, it is already gone.  Nasal strips are ripped off your face while miniature bodies pile drive into you before the alarm even has a chance to go off.  In all honesty, the alarm probably hasn’t even needed setting …
review by . April 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I cannot think of a better pairing than Steve Carell and Tina Fey, not only because they're funny, not only because they're gifted at improvisation, but also because they possess an actor's sense of timing. Comedy is not only about letting loose physically and verbally; it's also about knowing when to hold back. Carell and Fey get this, and they put it to good use in "Date Night"; when they're not engaging in over the top sequences that merge summer action with slapstick, then they're taking part …
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I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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Tina Fey and Steve Carell are two of the most charming performers in entertainment today. Their goofy attractiveness makes them a perfect couple inDate Night: an unremarkable husband and wife from New Jersey, they get mistaken for crooks in Manhattan, sending them on a wild night replete with snooty wait staff, crooked cops, glitter-specked strippers, a shirtless superspy (Mark Wahlberg, as buff as ever), and a preposterous car chase. The movie makes no effort to be remotely plausible and the last third really goes off the rails, and it would probably be better served by less familiar faces in minor roles (bit parts are played by Mark Ruffalo, Kristen Wiig, Common, James Franco, Mila Kunis, William Fichtner, and Ray Liotta). It's disappointing that the dialogue doesn't crackle the way it does on30 RockorThe Office. But Fey and Carell carry the movie along through sheer nerdy pluck. Rarely does a couple in a movie seem genuinely devoted to each other, not out of wild passion, but for all the things that a real marriage is built on: patience, shared humor, a willingness to deal with day-to-day annoyances, and simple affection. Fey and Carell seem like a couple you'd actually enjoy going out to dinner with. In today's world, that's more romantic than sunsets and bouquets of roses.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Shawn Levy
Genre: Comedy
Release Date: April 09, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
DVD Release Date: August 10, 2010
Runtime: 88 minutes
Studio: 20th Century Fox
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