Date Night
Anytime Tina Fey and Steve Carell team up to make a movie, I tend to keep my eye on it.  Two of the funniest people in Hollywood with similar television careers, have both had their up’s and down’s in the movie business.  While Carell’s biggest success was the hilarious 40 Year Old Virgin (and on a smaller scale Anchorman), he’s had his share of misses as well.   Evan Almighty, Get Smart, and most recently Dinner For Schmucks all were flops at the box office and not very well received amongst critics (I’ll give Dinner For Schmuck’s room to grow since it was just released a week ago).  Tina Fey, much like Carell, has had critical success as a television actress but has only starred in one major role in the film industry.  Baby Mama wasn’t as bad as it was made out to be, but it certainly wasn’t anything for Fey to hang her hat on.  It’s their television careers that are keeping both of these actors afloat in the movie business.

Date Night, which was directed by Shawn Levy (Night of the Museum 1 & 2, The Pink Panther), is about a boring married couple, Phil and Claire Foster (Carell & Fey), struggling to find excitement in their everyday lives.  Phil is a financial consultant and Claire owns her own real estate company in New Jersey, only 20 minutes away from New York City (or so Claire tells all of her clients).  After growing tired of being too complacent with their marriage, they resurrect an old tradition of “date night” which takes place once a week.  On one particular “date night” the couple decides to go to dinner in Manhattan at a fancy restaurant called “The Claw”, where it’s apparently impossible to get a reservation and you have to be to get in.  They show up and try to talk their way to a table, but after several failed attempts they decide to take someone else reservation that was a no-show.  This comes back to bite them in the ass as the reservation they took belonged to a couple who’s being hunted down by some crooked cops looking for a missing flash drive that contains very sensitive information belonging to one of the city’s most notorious crime bosses (Ray Liotta).

The rest of the movie is Phil and Claire on the run from the cops (played by Common, which amounts to a wasted effort on his part and Jimmi Simpson) while meeting up with a special ops guru (played by another wasted effort in Mark Wahlberg) and the real couple the dirty-cops are after; Taste and Whippit (rather hilarious take by James Franco and Mila Kunis).  Taraji P. Henson plays a NYC detective who somehow believes Phil and Claire have been wrongfully accused and is hard on the case to prove their innocence.  While the cameo’s are pretty much wasted given the talent that was cast to play them, the movie is surprisingly funny which is mainly a credit to Tina Fey’s and Steve Carell’s great chemistry together.  At times I could actually see them as a real life married couple.  They were that good at playing a boring couple caught up in a bad situation.  Date Night is a nice blend of action, humor, and an all around good time.

If you’re looking for something that will make you laugh but appeal to your action side, Date Night should get your attention.