Silver Chips Online

"Date" freight

Comedy from Carell and Fey can't save poor screenplay

By Blake Morgan-Gamber, Online Features and Sports Editor
April 14, 2010
Even with a super-star line comedic duo, including both Steve Carell and Tina Fey, "Date Night" disappoints with forced laughs and boredom. With no navigation in such a messy plot, "Date Night" is one disastrous serving.

Date Night

(released April 09, 2010)
The plot gets nonsensical when Phil and Claire have to break into a building to steal secret government files Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox
Chips Rating:
1.5 stars

User Rating:
0 stars Votes: 4
The plot follows Phil (Carell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey), a married couple from New Jersey, interested in spicing up their dull life as a married couple. After witnessing the divorce of close friends Brad (Mark Ruffalo) and Haley Sullivan (Kristin Wiig), Phil and Claire notice similarities between the problems of their own marriage and their friends', but are determined to keep their marriage alive. As a result, Phil and Claire venture into Manhattan to have a classier, more romantic evening than previous date nights they have had in the past. But when the Fosters decide to take another couple's reservation at a crowded, high-end Manhattan restaurant, their date night turns into a night they will never forget, but for all the wrong reasons. Seeing "Date Night" truly compares to the misery of an awkward set up blind date.

The largest flaw of "Date Night" is its highly unrealistic plot – the genre of the movie is ambiguous. With two witty comedians playing the leading roles, the movie initially shows promise as a comedy; then, all of a sudden, the date turns sour. Although it appears to be a comedy about a humdrum married couple, "Date Night" slowly evolves into an action movie that contains random, mediocre moments of humor. Despite Carell and Fey’s efforts to bring comedy to the screen, the nonsensical situation the Fosters are thrown into can't be saved by such a lackluster humor.

Such random, funny instances will produce a few good laughs from audiences as "Date Night" does have some solid comedic moments. Audiences will appreciate the segment where Phil and Claire are out to dinner and observe other couples around them, figuring out each couple's relationship and giving commentary as if they were the couple.

As expected, Carell and Fey portray the humorous elements of a marriage between two middle-aged people to perfection and are the only chance of making the movie amusing. Unfortunately, even two comedic geniuses as Carell and Fey cannot save a movie with such a poorly written script.

Although "Date Night" suddenly morphs into an action movie with minor comedic moments, it does not possess ridiculously over-the-top special effects. The movie contains plenty of guns, car chases and even a helicopter; however, no effects ranged out of a normal budget.

Besides Carell, Fey and Wiig, "Date Night" includes several other established actors including James Franco, Leighton Meester, Mark Wahlberg and Common, as well as an appearance by Will.I.Am. It is unfortunate to witness such actors waste their talent with an under-developed script.

Rather than sit through the misery of watching Carell and Fey struggle through "Date Night," audiences might have better luck on a blind date than attending this movie.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10056