Movies these days that are existing-couple-oriented all seem to focus on conflicts, unhappiness, and complications. So a movie based on a couple’s healthy relationship and comfort with living the normal American life, packaged in a “Adventures in Babysitting” manner might be a little confusing to some. However, the non-snarky, non-hating friendship between the two married main characters keeps this film afloat when it ventures into buddies battling bad-cops 90s nostalgia boring action sequences. It doesn’t preach to the audience: no “he’s just not that into you” or the “married life kinda sucks!” Judd Apatow sentimentality.
So Date Night is truly is a good date night movie. Really! I took my main squeeze to the screening, and I didn’t feel like what we were watching was a silent message to him that he needs to buy me flowers in order to show his love, or that I need to pop out his babies and move to Alameda.
The basic plot really makes no difference, because the point of the movie is throwing funny situations at the two main characters, Phil & Claire Foster (Steve Carrell & Tina Fey).
But if you’ve somehow missed all the commercials and can’t watch the trailer, above, here you go: Steve and Tina go on a dinner date to a fancy restaurant in Manhattan, and get mistaken for some yokes, the Tripplehorns (skeeves by James Franco and Mila Kunis) who have some juicy information on a flashdrive. The Tripplehorns are being pursued by Ray Liotta, who is trying to blackmail William Fichtner. Common and the guy who plays Liam McPole from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia are the bad corrupt cops.
Snore snore. Like I said,the movie is them being funny and running around New York City.
It really does get boring towards the end, but Tina and Steve are pros, able to make nonsensical and somewhat annoying lines, funny. They are even able to make a dance scene, normally a lame and hacky plot device, enjoyable and equally awkward to the audience and to the characters themselves.
But the best part of this film is Mark Wahlberg’s body. For reals. It’s beautiful and tan and waxed, but not over-protein bulky. He plays his black-ops character straight, while Carrell tones down his typical over-the-top Don Adams style and doesn’t over play his surprise when Tina flirts with Wahlberg.
If I was to make comparisons to other movies, I’d say that it reminds me most of the 80s and 90s style of buddies-running-away-from-bad-guys movies, like Tango And Cash. Seriously! By making a movie based on a married couple that acts like buddy-movie partners, the filmmakers have made this shitty car chase through New York more realistic than most of the current crop of romantic “comedies” could hope to be.