Tina Fey and Steve Carell.
30 Rock and The Office.
You’d think that you’d rely on their characteristics in their well known shows to see if the movie is going to be absolutely hilarious.
You’re mostly right. But I must point out that this movie is not ’30 Rock meets The office’. Instead, it’s ‘Fey meets Carell’.
Fey, a former Saturday Night Live cast member, and creator of 30 Rock, and Carell, getting his name on the map by appearing as Jim Carrey’s rival in Bruce Almighty, being the 40 Year Old Virgin, and securing his household status in the US version of The Office – their names alone put bums on seats.
In Date Night, Fey and Carell play married couple Claire and Phil Foster with kids, who do the same thing, day in and day out. Up in the early morning, prepare the kids, go to work, come home, send the kids to bed, arrange their social groups, then pass out in bed. Only to repeat it all over again the next day. Once a week, they organise a babysitter (Gossip Girl’s Leighton Meester) so they can do their weekly ‘date night’ at the same restaurant. This way, they can tune out of everyday life and spend some peaceful time together. One night with friends, they discover their close friends are getting a divorce – citing the staleness in their relationship. This gives The Fosters a wake-up call. So the next date night, Phil decides to take Claire to the most fanciest, wankiest seafod restaurant in town. It’s so exclusive, you need to book a month in advance. As they turn up and denied a table, Phil jumps at the opportunity to steal someone else’s reservation – The Tripplehorns. Just as they think they get away with their meal and table, they are mistaken for the Tripplehorns by 2 dark looking thugs, who think the Fosters have something they need, which infact, The real Tripplehorns have. Due to mistaken identity, this leads The Fosters on a wild goose chase, with hilarious and disasterous results.
This movie wouldn’t have worked properly if it wasn’t for the terrific chemistry between Fey and Carell. There are many references to their TV characters with some one-liners (penis and vagina jokes get used many times in very funny ways), plus there is a laugh-out-loud car chase which, by today’s standards, it’s quiet original. With a supporting cast of Ray Liotta and a constantly shirtless Mark Wahlberg, who doesn’t do much, other than to look pretty and be the sexual object of Fey’s affection, Date Night will give you a great laugh, without making the story too complex to follow. Fey and Carell work so well together, they don’t overcrowd or outshine each other. Plus, Tina Fey looks pretty hot in a burlesque stripper dress. The pole-dancing scene makes you want to break out the dorky dancing next time you’re at a club.