Review of Date Night
on 2012-07-08 20:34
Movie Review: "Date Night" --
Rating: PG-13 (sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence, and a drug reference)
Length: 88 minutes
Release Date: April 9, 2010
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
"Date Night" is yet another comedy movie directed and produced by Shawn Levy that really hits the mark. However, unlike his previous comedy films, such as "Just Married," "Cheaper by the Dozen," and "Night at the Museum," "Date Night" provides a number of great laughs in the mix of a serious plot.
Part of the appeal of "Date Night" is that the two lead characters are often thought of as two of the greatest comedians in American film, namely Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Playing the roles of Phil and Claire Foster, a married couple from New Jersey, Carell and Fey take the audience on a wild ride through a number of hilarious scenes.
The movie begins with the Fosters hearing that some friends are going through a breakup, and they realize that they do not want to be in the same situation. Instead of just going out to dinner at their regular spot on date night, Phil decides to do something spontaneous-taking Claire to one of the hottest restaurants in Manhattan.
When the Fosters get there, however, it is no surprise that they cannot get a table, as the restaurant is one where bookings must be made months in advance. This is where it all turns pear-shaped-Phil decides to use a reservation for another couple, the Tripplehorns, who appear to be a no-show. Despite Claire's reluctance to do so, the Fosters sit down and act as though they are the Tripplehorns.
While the Fosters are eating a gourmet meal, a couple of mobsters, Collins (played by Common) and Armstrong (played by Jimmi Simpson), show up demanding that the Tripplehorns give back a flash drive that was supposedly stolen by one of Manhattan's most well-known gangsters, Joe Miletto, who is played by Ray Liotta. After sending Colllins and Armstrong off on a wild goose chase, the Fosters contact the police only to realize that the mobsters are also police officers. With this new information in hand, the Fosters know that only finding the real Tripplehorns will result in the end of their predicament.
In order to track down the Tripplehorns, Claire contacts Hobrooke Grant (played by Mark Wahlberg), a security expert.
The scene where the Fosters turn up at Grant's apartment is easily the funniest in the whole film. When the Fosters are discussing their current dilemma with Grant, an Israeli woman, who is obviously Grant's girlfriend, comes down the stairs and wants to know if they would participate in a foursome. Steve Carell responds by laughing for at least a good 30 seconds-what else is there to do when someone offers something like that? The gist of the visit is that Grant discovers that the Tripplehorns may be at an apartment belonging to a man named Tom Felton. Just when the Fosters receive the vital information, the two mobsters from the police station turn up. The Fosters quickly jump in Grant's Audi and race off as fast as they can.
Once the Fosters get to Felton's apartment, they break in only to find Taste (played by James Franco) and Whippit (played by Mila Kunis). It turns out that this couple is actually the Tripplehorns, and they give the flash drive to Phil and, after realizing that they are in danger, get out of there as fast as they can.
The Fosters get back into the Audi only to become involved in a car chase with the police mobsters. Eventually, Phil looks at what is on the flash drive and finds pictures of district attorney Frank Crenshaw with prostitutes. Not long after viewing the incriminating evidence, Phil has to bail out of the cab he is in, and the taxi, along with the flash drive, falls into the river.
With all hope seemingly lost, Phil comes up with a plan, one that would involve the police. Phil figures out that Felton, under the control of Miletto, used the flash drive in order to blackmail Crenshaw. In order to bring the conspiracy to light, the Fosters attend a strip club that Crenshaw frequently attends. They try to get his attention by telling him that they are the Tripplehorns. On hearing this, Crenshaw orders the police mobsters to take them up to roof. Miletto turns up, and it is revealed that he has been paying Crenshaw to keep him out of prison. Once this is admitted, Claire counts to three and a SWAT team appears, arresting Crenshaw, Miletto, and anyone else connected to the conspiracy. It becomes apparent that Phil was wearing a wire the whole time they were at the strip club.
The script of "Date Night" was perfect for the cast of characters. Overall, this is a movie with a compelling and focused plot, with plenty of comedy thrown in. "Date Night" is a great movie to take someone out to see on a first date.