|Directed by:||Shawn Levy|
|Written by:||Josh Klausner|
|Cast:||Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Kristen Wiig, Taraji P. Henson, William Fichtner, Common, Leighton Meester, Mark Ruffalo, Mila Kunis, James Franco|
You can’t really say that this movie sucks, but it’s not the kind of movie that will blow you away either. In the end, DATE NIGHT is a serviceable film that features a handful of funny jokes, some clever remarks but mostly just a number of surreal events that are somewhat interesting but not fully entertaining or memorable. In fact, I just watched the film a few hours ago and other than the cool celebrity cameos (“Hey look, it’s so-and-so!!”), I can’t really say that there was much about this movie that I can still remember. In fact, the only thing that I was thinking when the movie ended was, “Darn it, what a wasted opportunity!” With both leads, Tina Fey and Steve Carell, hitting their marks in terms of comedy, and many of the cameos coming through (my faves were James Franco and Kristen Wiig), I can’t believe that the film wasn’t much funnier. Maybe it’s because they seemed to tone the entire movie down to get a PG-13 rating, because when you’re featuring many moments of major frustration throughout the movie, an entire sequence set in a strip joint and there are barely any swear words or nudity (none) to back all that up, you can’t help but think what a much better movie this could have been, had it been rated-R and given a darker comedic edge. Then again, what did we expect from the director of A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, THE PINK PANTHER and CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN, right?
My favorite parts in the entire film were the sequences featuring the great Mark Wahlberg shirtless! (I wonder if Mathew McConaughey was up for this part) Sure, the man has great upper-body development, but it wasn’t just that. The married couple played really well off his Playboy character, and the stuff in his office was hilarious. I also liked the film’s running gag in which folks would freak out upon hearing about the couple “stealing” someone else’s restaurant reservations. I only wish more of the movie had cracked me up, but mostly it was just a few guffaws and smiles here and there. Even Ray Liotta and William Fichtner seemed to be cashing paychecks here, and was it just me or was Taraji P. Henson terribly miscast as the chief detective on the case? I’m also a fan of Olivia Munn, but after her 3-second “role” in IRON MAN 2 and now her 5-second “role” here, I have to ask myself (and her), “Why??” Overall, I’m sure this will prove to be a decent rental for many people, especially married couples with children who may connect more to some of the funnier dialogue between Fey and Carrel, but the plot line isn’t anything special, the action and special effects don’t really stand out, and I only wish they had made the film a little darker, with more adult humor and edge. As it stands now though, DATE NIGHT is probably a decent date night rental for those looking to smile and forget about their own daily grinds for about 90 minutes.