This week’s biggest release ‘Date Night’ practically screams its target demographic in your face; apparently this film is best seen on something called a ‘date’? Despite the film’s not so subtle title, Shawn Levy’s latest offering manages to claw together enough laughs to make it worthy of a Friday night out.
Perhaps most interestingly, the film see’s Steve Carell and Tina Fey together on the big screen for the first time, although by no means spectacular the couple still manage to form something genuinely funny and entertaining. They play Phil and Claire, a charmingly boring suburban couple who try to spice up their failing marriage with a trip to an expensive restaurant in Manhattan. But of course they haven’t booked a table, forcing Phil to steal another couple’s reservation to save this disaster of a ‘date night’. Things seem to be going great until two heavies turn up demanding to talk with the original owners of the table, Mr. and Mrs Tripplehorn.
The plot is by no means complex and the film noticeably misplaces its funny bone towards the end of the film, however there’s enough sharp writing and wacky set pieces to set this film apart. Carell are Fey are good in the film’s central roles and Mark Wahlberg’s turn as one of Fey’s clients brings with it one of the film’s more awkwardly funny moments. When the film really hits its stride however is when Carell and Fey are aloud to play the broken couple in relative isolation, the way they react to the ridiculous situation they’re in is both funny and touching. Sadly towards the end of the film Levy complicates the comedy a bit too much, leaving it feeling forced rushed and unnecessary.
Despite the film’s disappointing conclusion the film ‘Date Night’ is still a passable piece of the cinema. The plot may be predictable and simplistic, but underneath is two good performances and a film with a heart, which is more than can be said for most films.