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Date Night (2010)

September 20, 2010

6/10 TV Dinners

Has its moments.

Date Night is about your average middle-aged couple with a happy marriage and mandatory spawn who, between non-stop work and parenting, find themselves squeezing in one-on-one time on the same night each week or so and more often than not end up doing the exact same thing they did last time. Then one night the husband decides he wants to be a badass, so he steals someone else’s reservation at a swanky Manhattan restaurant, they think they’re the coolest, but then the night gets ruined when they get mistaken for the people who had the reservation and find themselves running for their lives/uncovering political conspiracies/hanging out with a shirtless Marky Mark.

Simple enough, another one of those mistaken identity things, but it gets the job done.

So it’s directed by Shawn Levy whose other works include the Pink Panther remake, the Cheaper by the Dozen remake, the Night at the Museum movies and his next project is a live-action version of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots. And it’s written by one Josh Klausner whose only other contributions to society include Shrek the Third and Shrek Forever After. Yeah, this is a step up for both individuals, but I think I’ll just leave it at that and move on to the cast all the same.

While it’s nice to see Steve Carell not doing the whole Michael Scott shtick for the first time in ages and he’s fine as Phil Foster, I think the problem goes back to the fact that Steve Carell is effing everywhere these days. Whether it’s TV, movies, cereal boxes, my dreams or how he insists on waking up bright and early each morning to make me coffee before I go to work, if something exists right now, chances are Steve Carell is involved in some way, shape or form. And it’s not like I can blame the guy because he’s one of the rare big time celebrities these days who’s actually managed to earn their fame by having talent, and it’s not like he isn’t funny here either, it’s just that I think I’m overdosing on Steve. I’m thankful for a break from the uber-awkwardness that he’s become synonymous with over the past six years or however long The Office has been on, but I miss the days of Little Miss Sunshine and The 40-Year-Old Virgin where his skills really shined.

And while Tina Fey’s good as Claire Foster, she’s unfortunately got the same complaint going for her. She’s probably the funniest woman on the planet right now, she’s also inescapable, and I think I need a break.

On the one hand, it’s nice to see them playing themselves for a change instead of the characters they keep winning Emmys for. On the other, it’s just too much of a good thing with these two, and while they’re a good pair and there’s definite comedic chemistry which I’m sure they’ve worked on at all those wacky NBC holiday parties, I could use some time away to fully appreciate how good they are.

The script’s nothing special and it doesn’t really come up with anything all that new, but Carell and Fey do make it better than it should be, so for that they get props.

But despite their efforts, if it weren’t for an hilarious cameo by James Franco and an entertaining – if not totally random – strip tease scene featuring Carell and Fey, there actually wouldn’t be a whole lot to write home about with this one. Date Night had me laughing here and there, but for the most part it’s pretty forgettable to the point where it took me a good three weeks of daydreaming to remember that I’d even seen it. Lots of cameos, lots of hijinks and shit, but one viewing’s enough.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. September 20, 2010 7:11 am

    I will say it is forgettable, but while it was going, it had me laughing my ass off! Carell and Fey are just perfect together, and although the script is not as edgy as people would have hoped, it still has its PG-13 funny moments. Great cameos too!

  2. September 20, 2010 7:14 am

    Steve Carrell seems to be doing a lot of movies right now…most of them are so-so. He needs to start picking better scripts or he’ll quikcly be forgotten. More Little Miss Sunshine and less Evan Almighty..!

    • September 20, 2010 1:16 pm

      Well said. Hope you didn’t have to actually sit through Evan Almighty though.

  3. September 20, 2010 12:45 pm

    They might as well have improved the whole thing because the script failed them badly.

    • September 20, 2010 1:16 pm

      Yeah, it’s about time someone gave them a good script to work off of insteading of just having them ad-lib the whole thing.

  4. September 20, 2010 12:51 pm

    Yeah, i love the office and 30 rock but bringing them together turned out to be a really unfunny movie surprisingly. Cameos were great though, like you pointed out!

    • September 20, 2010 1:10 pm

      Same here, both awesome shows (even though they’re not what they once were). Seems like they just need to be more selective of the stuff they sign up for.

  5. September 20, 2010 8:43 pm

    I didn’t like this movie as much as you did, in fact I hated it. There was nothing funny nor entertaining about it (aside from Marky Mark). Though it’s all opinion, so I still say bravo on the review itself.

    P.S. This is Ritz Reviews, I got a new site, and decided to stick with this one, and add music. So if you could remove Ritz Reviews from your blog roll and add this one, that’d be great!

    • September 21, 2010 2:14 pm

      Won’t argue with you on this one, hard to really get in a heated debate about a movie like Date Night anyway. And will change the link asap. Thanks for the heads up, man.

  6. September 21, 2010 2:08 pm

    I totally disagree. I loved hanging out with these actors. I can’t get enough of them and I hope that they end up doing something else together because this was one of the funniest movies I’ve seen in theaters in a long time.

    I think your imposing more of your own view of the actors outside the film than their actual work in this film. I think they both did a stellar job and had a lot of great comedic moments.

    • September 21, 2010 2:22 pm

      haha, i think you’re on to something. I guess I just didn’t have the same gut-busting reaction to the movie that you did and it just made me wish the two would take more roles that would give me that reaction because they can both be effing hilarious. Seemed like a pretty blah script that didn’t have a whole lot of new stuff to offer outside of Carell and Fey’s ad-libbing, but they did have their moments, just wish there had been more of them.


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