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Date Night (2010)

A 2010 comedy movie directed by Shawn Levy.

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A Date Movie gone wrong...sort of.

  • Nov 12, 2010
Rating:
-1
 ** 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. The intended audience will most likely enjoy it, but it’s not like that audience is particularly smart anyways. Yes, this is another typical Hollywood money maker that indeed makes money and nothing more. It doesn’t manage to make me smile or giggle (at least not as much as I should) and therefore becomes a wholesomely forgetful comedic romp. I have enjoyed Steve Carrel’s work in the past, but this is just above preposterous. While harmless, I don’t see how this film qualifies as “funny” or even “clever”. It’s not insulting, and certainly not boring. But you know what; I find it to be VERY un-satisfying. After watching “Dinner for Schmucks” (which I enjoyed very much), I thought I’d have fun with this flick. But luckily for “Schmucks”, the filmmakers didn’t cram it full of every cliché possible. Yeah, they pretty much do that here. And it’s not particularly satisfactory in the end. I understand that a lot of people are going to love this film, and then others (like me) will not enjoy it as much. It’s an uneven film that looses its charm between the second and third acts of the movie. It begins decently and could have descended into something interesting. But what do you know. It turns out that the rest of the film is full of car chases, unfunny sex jokes, and an unending game of “find this guy” and “run from that guy”. It’s just not interesting. But luckily, I’ve seen Shawn Levy do worse (I mean, “The Pink Panther”. Come on, man). This time, Levy doesn’t provoke suicidal thoughts, but instead keeps you interested but not to an extent. Perhaps I would have enjoyed myself a bit more if it weren’t so darn watchable all around. Anyhow, I would not recommend this flick to most movie-goers considering the fact that it’s just not funny for the most part. Sex jokes are not funny. A guy being forced to dance in a strip club isn’t funny. But you know what is funny? A black guy with huge eyes screaming in his taxi. And “Date Night” has that. But not much more.

Phil and Claire Foster have little time to themselves. They must tend to their children and attend their every-day work. They don’t seem to be struggling much with their relationship, so they’re always open for a good ol’ date. And one night they finally go on one. They choose the fanciest restraint which is almost impossible to get into to begin with, although Phil is determined to make this particular night special. So when the waitress calls out the name of a currently un-present couple, Phil takes the table and the two officially start their date. It all goes well until they are confronted by two men who demand that they follow them out. In a twisted turn of events, the family that the couple posed as (The Tripplehorns) was in serious trouble with a mob boss who wants his “precious flash drive” back. Soon, Phil and Claire are on the run and become fugitives in the city that never sleeps. And you probably know the “story” that follows afterwords. They consult the Tripplehorns, proceed to avoid their capture, and it all ends happily and romantically. Yeah. Not a very attractive date movie at all. “Date Night” has some pretty funny running gags throughout, all of which can never measure up to the obvious lack of intelligent humor here. I hoped for a lot more laughs than I got, even if the film is entertaining otherwise. I mean, it’s Steve Carrel. So that means that it’s at least SOMEWHAT entertaining. So basically this is more proof that Shawn Levy cannot make a hilarious movie even if his life depended on it. Perhaps he can make something that’s moderately funny (THIS), but nothing more. Don’t expect a particularly special experience out of this generic comedy. If this film was your date, then it wouldn’t have a very good story to tell. It would be boring and stupid for the most part. And for the usual date crowd (since that crowd is by far the most ignorant of all crowds), it’s the perfect little movie for the job. It’s cheap romance and cheap humor. What more could you want from Hollywood? (Lots more, actually.)

Steve Carrel gives it his all and surprisingly enough does pretty well. He gives this overall pretty weak movie a little more life. He doesn’t quite save it, but by all means he helps the slightest bit. I’ve personally seen Carrel do a lot better and be a lot funnier, but he’s pretty solid here anyways. Tina Few however, holds no surprises whatsoever. She’s as mediocre and unfunny as I remember her, although she and Carrel combined make for a just barely decent little couple. There’s no chemistry (well, no GOOD chemistry at least) to be found in this film, considering that it’s all melodrama and pretentious love throughout. The supporting cast for this film is actually pretty colorful. It includes the talents of Ray Liotta (genius!), Mark Wahlberg (somewhat genius.), James Franco (Oh, goodie), and Olivia Munn (need I say more?) to back up the mediocrity that this film presents us with. Other than that, this cast doesn’t quite shine enough to save this movie. Although I did like that black cab driver. He was funny. REALLY funny.

I HATE romantic comedies. Films are perfect for the pretentious fantasy that is love, but they have to be good. That’s the bottom (and top) line. “Date Night” isn’t romantic. It’s cheesy, formulaic, and way to generic for my liking. Therefore, the story-telling is nothing unique whatsoever and never fails to disappoint. I guessed the general plot from about two hours away (so essentially from the beginning), no joke. And to top it off, this “comedy” isn’t even that funny to begin with. Sure, there’s some clever jokes thrown in there consistently, but none of them are memorable. Or particularly hilarious. You know what; this film was just plain depressing. And since I can’t exactly get by that, I couldn’t have myself the good time that was by all means promised. The film tries to be wild, unhinged, and hilarious. But alas it isn’t any of those things. It’s still a semi-decent romantic comedy, but it has no style. It has no class. And it most definitely has no goddamn emotions. I simply wanted more. I’ve seen some pretty damn good romantic comedies, and this is not one of them. Maybe it’s not THAT bad, but I don’t really feel like comparing it to those other twenty-something romantic comedies that we get thrown at us every week. “Date Night” may as well count as one of those comedies. It’s gone with the wind before you even knew it was there. On the other hand, the cinematography can be pretty decent (hey, I liked some of the angles), although the music however is not. The soundtrack is totally generic and full of music that can by all means “connect” to the audience. But it sure as hell doesn’t connect to me. I mean, you’ll get yourself a certain audience if you have a cameo of will.i.am thrown in there. And I sure as hell am not in that audience whatsoever. And whoever is in that audience is obviously wrong about this movie and can’t see any of the flaws. How the hell is it possible not to see that this movie does more wrong than it does good? Seriously. I think something is wrong with people these days. And people like Shawn Levy enjoy taking advantage of that fact.

Shawn Levy has made a comedy that can either be funny, offensive, or just plain unfunny. For the most part, it IS unfunny. But sometimes I could laugh at the jokes. But then again, I didn’t for the most part. And that’s a damn shame, because I wanted to like this film. But when all the laughs are drowned out by a consistent lack of true control, you’ve got yourself a problem. I mean, you can’t have an action-comedy-romance directed by Shawn Levy be “good”. It’s just not possible, and we all know it. So take it as you will. A funny comedy or a horrendous mess where nothing but the first act is particularly convincing. I’d probably choose the second thing, minus the “horrendous” part of it. Because “Date Night” isn’t wrist-slittingly bad. And I can actually be mildly sympathetic for that. But I none the less have problems forgiving this film for the disappointment that it is. I like Carrel. I like certain romantic comedies. But I do not in any way like “Date Night”. Harmless, but poorly crafted. Just how those who fall victim to these films like it, right? I would think so.

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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.
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
Caption
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 12, 2010
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 …
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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Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Wiki

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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Details

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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