JT Film Review

84 – Date Night (2010)

Date Night REVIEW

3/5 stars

Director – Shawn Levy

Cast – Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Whalberg, Taraji P. Henson, William Fitchner, Mark Ruffalo, Mila Kunis, James Franco, Common

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Date  Night is a hit-and-miss little comedy from the director of Cheaper by the Dozen, The Pink Panther (2006), and Night at the Museum. With credits such as these, I guess you can’t hope for too much, but I was reasonably optimistic as I went in. Steve Carell is a remarkable talent (probably the premier comedian of our era), and Tina Fey has certainly proven herself through her TV projects.

Overall the movie is no more or less than what you would expect. The setup is neat and well-played, with some quite humorous touches and surprisingly deft sequences. Then the plot is introduced, and our heroes must fight their way through numerous over-the-top predicaments. With lesser actors this probably would have become a drab and utterly excruciating affair, and to be honest the material they started off with isn’t all that great. However their absolutely wonderful chemistry and amazing improvisational skills really lift this movie out of its crappy roots and into fairly watchable territory. When these two were riffing on each other or doing awkward dirty-dancing routines the movie hums along wonderfully.

The movie unfortunately falters when it awkwardly tries to mix its humor with the romantic problems of the main characters. This element of the movie is long and overdone, rearing its ugly head once too often and staying for too long when it arrives. Once, in the middle of a (fairly) tense chase sequence, they literally pull the car over and talk about the failure of the love life. It felt like a ten minute sequence, in which there was not one joke, not one witticism, or even one sentence that hadn’t been said three times already. This happens a couple of times too many throughout, unfortunately holding the movie back.

This being said, the performances in Date Night are all decent at the very least, with Carell and Fey absolutely lighting up the screen. I don’t mind saying that I laughed myself hoarse more than a couple of times. Stay after the movie for some of those (usually lame) “blooper reel” gags too, they just prove how good Fey and Carell are. I can’t wait for them both to get some really quality material in the future. Carell has had a couple good ones so far, lets hope Tina Fey gets a chance to prove herself on the big screen in a movie worthy of her considerable talent.

OVERALL

Date Night proves that great acting can elevate a lame script and half-assed direction into a fairly likable movie. You should perhaps not go in expecting a Great Movie, and maybe get up to use the bathroom during the “romantic” scenes too, but when Date Night wants you to laugh, you will, and you will laugh hard. Despite the huge flaws in the movie, I found myself quite enjoying myself. Recomended, only barely, but still recomended.

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TRAILER

“Date Night” on other websites:

IMDB —– Rotten Tomatoes —– Wikipedia

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April 11, 2010 - Posted by | 3 Stars, Film Review, Genre - Comedy, Year - 2010-2019 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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