Recently I learned about “date night” for married couples, who “date” to keep up the spark in their relationship. But what’s to keep the dates from becoming just another dull routine? Thus the dilemma presented in the movie Date Night.
Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) are a suburban Jersey couple who enjoy success, comfort and domestic tranquility. They start to believe their situation and relationship is, indeed, too tranquil. It needs a little “zazz.” They get “freaked out” by the pending divorce of a couple they know, so Phil decides to really shake things up.
He takes Claire to a trendy Manhattan restaurant, where they impersonate a couple who never showed up to use their seating reservations. Turns out that the people they are impersonating have organized crime connections.
It seems the Fosters have bitten off more than they can chew. But one thing is for sure, their choices for that evening’s dining spiced things up for the two of them, running across Manhattan with gun wielding mafiosi in hot pursuit.
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So there you go. Carell. Fey. Dates. Mobsters. Sounds like fun at the movies. Right? On paper and in the trailers, sure, problem is, once it gets rolling, it gets a little bland and predictable.
This movie is about puncturing the equilibrium, letting a little fresh air into domestic staleness. Problem is, it illustrates this by turning into a paint-by-numbers action comedy after a promising start. This is really too bad.
The material has a nice, rich base, and the star ingredients and ideas promise a good time. But what you end up with is more typical Hollywood fare. Not a bad time at the theater, but there are ones far better.