In the Picture

Date Night

Directed by Shawn Levy

Rated PG-13

With a choice between a new romantic comedy starring Miley Cyrus or this, well, there really wasn’t a choice.

This movie had great potential but somehow falls short, but then you can’t expect too much from a director whose credits include the remake of Cheaper by the Dozen and The Pink Panther.

Date Night is a comedy about a couple, Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) Foster, who are married with two kids and demanding jobs. The two, while happily married, are so exhausted at the end of the day they have little time to devote to their relationship, except the odd date night, which is a token effort at best.

In a bid to spice things up, the couple decides to spend their next date night at a swanky New York seafood restaurant called Claw, where they impersonate the Tripplehorns in order to get a table at the snobby, crowded, overly-priced establishment. But stealing a reservation has its price. Who does that?

The Fosters are mistaken for blackmailers and soon find themselves being chased across New York by corrupt cops and gangsters, a scenario which starts to make their boring suburban life suddenly look pretty bloody cosy.

This film isn’t that bad, it’s just not that great – like most relationships I guess.

Fey and Carell have obvious fun in this film and there are certainly a few laugh-out-loud moments as they bounce off each other. They are both consummate comedians and it’s purely their chemistry, subtlety and brilliant comic timing that saves this film.

There are a few funny cameos – Mark Wahlberg being the stand-out as a shirtless security advisor – but really this film is a vehicle for Carell and Fey to showcase their talent. And they do it well, although with a different director this could have been a good film rather than just a mediocre one.

While this wasn’t hilarious, if you’re a married couple looking for some time away from the kids and desperately need a laugh in your tiring, staid and boring life, then this film may indeed be the perfect date night.

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