Review - Date Night: No reservations about this one
You’ve loved Steve Carell and his voice-overs. And Tina Fey needs no introduction (Viewers of 30 Rock, rejoice!) Date Night fits the screwball comedy genre and is thankfully not just a series of gags, placed one after another. The punchlines are funny, as are the performances – a splendid one in a scene featuring Mark Wahlberg – and this isn’t surprising, coming from the director of comedies such as Just Married, Night at the Museum. Couples will love Date Night, especially considering it is a story about the dilemma of a suburban couple, as much as about the mess they get into. Not sure if you want to own it on DVD, but certainly rent it or borrow it.
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Q: What is the test of a good comedy film?
A: One, it should make you laugh while it’s on.
Two, it should continue to remind you of the laughter and gags, hours after you've seen it.
Three, it should make you want to watch it again and again.
Date Night does well on all three counts. Starring the very likable pair of Steve Carell and Tina Fey - both have gained a reputation in all things comedy - and directed by Shawn Levy (Just Married, Big Fat Liar, Night at the Museum).
There's also hilarious special appearance by Mark Wahlberg (topless in the film, throughout). The scene when the Fosters land up at his apartment seeking help, continues to make me laugh. I can't help smiling when I remember the way Carrell, Fey and Wahlberg perform that scene. I'm going to take a pause here, to finish laughing. I dare say that Date Night got me laughing a lot more than The Hangover did. I'm quoting Hangover specifically because for many, that films ranks as one of the best comedies from Hollywood.
In Date Night, the humour works a lot more because of the fabulous comic timing between the actors - Carrell and Fey are both exceptionally gifted, not just as actors but incredible voice artists (Don't miss ‘the gag reel’ on the DVD). They also enact the bored suburban couple look perfectly in the first few minutes of the film, which is what makes us love them a lot more. The scene where they discuss the status of their married life something that might get married couples look at each other and smile.
In fact, couples - both married and unmarried - will especially identify with the Fosters. I loved those scenes where they're at a restaurant and play a guessing game of what stage of relationship couples on other tables may be passing through.
The gags and action sort of drag towards the end, and the pole dancing scene was a little extreme, in my view. Since you're watching it on DVD, and I suspect your family members are going to be around, it might make you cringe in your seat. But everything happens for a reason, as do those scenes. Just an indication that despite being in the 'screwball comedy' genre, Date Night manages to be a story about a couple rather than a mere comedy of errors. Try this film on a girl's night out or even on a stag night. Good fun!
Don't miss the bloopers and special features on the DVD. There’s a video which profiles one entire schedule in the making of the film, where you learn that the cast and crew are habituated to sleep during the day, since all the shoots happen at night. Director Shawn Levy confidently takes you through each step and the amount of detailing and precision that goes behind setting up each scene, is mind-boggling. Ultimately, you realise that in films that are not verbose, acting is such a small part of the entire film-making process.
- Violence: Bearable.
- Language: Witty, and often suggestive.
- Nudity & Sexual content: In some scenes towards the end, but not forced.
- Concept: Fun, light and easy on the senses.
- General Look and Feel: Metropolitan!
Date Night - Movie Details
- Banner: 21 Laps, 20th Century Fox
- Producer: Shawn Levy
- Director: Shawn Levy
- Lead Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey
- Supporting Cast: Taraji P, Henson Common, Mark Wahlberg
- Story: Josh Klausner
- Cinematography: Dean Semler
- Editor: Dean Zimmerman
- Music Director: Christopher Beck
- Costume Designer: Marlene Stewart
- Art Direction: Dan Webster
- Running time: 101 minutes
- Reviewer: Arcopol Chaudhuri
- Language: English
- Country: USA
- Genres: Comedy, Romance, Slapstick