Date Night has been in my sights for months now. I am a huge fan of The Office, and pretty much anything that Steve Carell touches. I haven’t watched Saturday Night Live much, but after catching Tina Fey’s uncanny performance as Sarah Palin throughout the US elections, I became a fast fan of hers too.
The idea of this illustrious pair being teamed up seemed like a recipe for nothing short of comedic magic. Unfortunately this ended up as another case of soaring expectations falling short to disappointment.
The Foster’s are the every couple, that find themselves exhausted at the end of long days, as they struggle to keep the spark alive in their fizzling relationship. As their friends are divorcing around them, they start to notice themselves slipping into a rut. With the urge to spice things up guiding them, they head over to the city for a night on the town at a chic restaurant they have no business trying to get a table in without a reservation.
Releasing his inner wild child, Phil Foster overhears the hostess calling for The Tripplehorns, to no avail, and decides that they will steal the coveted reservation, whilst posing as this no-show couple. And this is where their gangster-riddled, pimp-hustling, car-crashing adventure begins.
I’m not going to go so far as to say that I didn’t like this movie. Yes, maybe I didn’t like the unbelievable plot line so much, since it was way over-the-top, but that is par for the course with most of the comedies out there. It’s often the talent of the actors alone that make the big hits work.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, is one of my favourites, and it certainly has no plotline to speak of. It was Will Ferrell and Christina Applegate’s portrayal of their maniacal characters that had me doubled over in fits of laughter.
In this case it seemed at times that Carell and Fey were stifled by their characters while having to stay in the realm of everyman and woman, and as such Date Night was not quite as wacky or creative as I might have hoped coming from these two.
That said, one of the highlights of the film was the wildly funny and unorthodox car chase through the streets of Manhattan. This scene alone helped me to feel redeemed for choosing to watch it at the theatre, in stead of frugally relaxing in the confines of my cozy living room. But I’m a sucker for a good car chase. (Please see The Blues Brothers for perfection on this front).
There was also a huge cast of secondary characters that I had no idea were a part of this flick, that offered a special treat. I was thrilled to see that Mark Wahlberg and Ray Liotta - numbers one and two respectively in my top five - made some tasty appearances!
In the end it may not have been everything I dreamed it would be, but Date Night was not a complete dud. I was patient with its ebb and flow, was regaled by its speckled laughs, and was lucky enough to savour in a little eye candy.
(Below you can catch a succinct trailer for the film, as found on YouTube)