Monday, 12 April 2010
Date Night - Review
Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are quite possibly two of the best comedy actors on American television at the moment. With Fey starring in the spectacularly brilliant 30 Rock and Carrell defying logic and leading an American remake of a British classic - The Office - that wasn't cancelled after the pilot episode, they finally join together on the big screen for the movie, Date Night, from director Shawn Levy - whose credits include The Pink Panther remake, Big Fat Liar, Cheaper By The Dozen. Best leave the kids at home...
In New York City, a case of mistaken identity turns a bored married couple's attempt at a glamorous and romantic evening into something more thrilling and dangerous - involving eccentric characters such , as crooked cops, corrupt public officials and Mark Wallberg, whom unable to find his shirt.
I will concede on paper it does sounds poor, and yes watching it, it's even more so. However there were moments that did actually make me laugh, giggle and even crack a smile but it was almost in an embarrassing 'This is what would happen if your parents tried to be cool' kind of way.
Though I'm a huge fan of Tina Fey, she's clearly a better writer than actress, as 30 Rock has proved a million times before. Perhaps it didn't help her case that she was essentially playing the exact same character she usually dons every week in 30 Rock - so just playing herself then? Carrell at least tries to make a bit of effort to be more assertive in his role, as oppose to the awkward weird guy in the corner he so frequently is type cast as in similar films like Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin and Get Smart.
The supporting cast actually fare better than our lovable couple, with a playful turn from Wallberg, William Fitcher and even Ray Liotta (good to see him not in a Straight-to-DVD feature for once, though I don't blame him for maybe thinking he was...).
I often wonder, what it would be like to be in a room, where films like Date Night get pitched to mega studios as such 20th Century Fox. Though mildly humorous, the plot was so outrageously silly that I failed to care how a film about a depressed married couple go from dinner, to being chased by men with guns, to a high speed car chase and end up posing as strippers in a seedy backstreet brothel in the worst part of New York City. Seriously in such a time of great economic uncertainty, how does a screenwriter manage to sell this kind of tosh?!
It was also equally bothersome to find, after managing to live through these series of unfortunate events, that it didn't feel as though the couple's lives had change drastically from their new-found experiences. More depressing than realising their marriage was doomed for failure at the start of the film was that they seemed perfectly content after a night of sheer, uncontrollable madness to go back to their banal little lives. Tragic.
Date Night is perhaps the last movie I would go to see on such a night, and most likely you will too. Though it has the odd humorous moment and Fey and Carrell manage to make a rather charming couple, its completely unbalanced by the series of rather extreme events that awkwardly fit together after one another. Shame, but not overly surprising to anyone who has seen the trailer...
See This If You Liked...
Mr and Mrs Smith? This the best one I can come up with...anyone got a better similarity contact me please...