There are only two conceivable reasons to rent Date Night. One, the short pale balding movie encyclopedia behind the counter can’t find The Mist, even though he knows it’s there somewhere, like that’s supposed to be some kind of consolation. Two, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell are great in their respective television ventures, so perhaps the combined power of their comedic timing and delivery would make for an at least somewhat entertaining movie. And the movie guy still can’t find The Mist.
Date Night isn’t a somewhat entertaining movie. Date Night is a lazy, predictable, unfunny, and bitter movie about a lazy, predictable, unfunny and bitter married couple. Steve Carrell is doing his, “I’m a normal meek guy except when I yell unexpectedly!” schtick, and Tina Fey is Liz Lemon, but trying a little too hard not to be. The chemistry between them is nonexistent, encumbered by an awkward script which self-consciously strives to sound improvised.
Basically, the apparent amount of care and work that went into conceiving this movie could be surmised thusly: “Hey, people like The Office and 30 Rock. I bet if we made a movie starring Steve Carrell and Tina Fey, it’d make money.”
Domestic drudgery is played for lazy jokes, effectively turning Fey into a shrill caricature with no faith in Carell’s impotent version of the old dolt husband. A shoehorned-in subplot about friends going through a divorce provides the impetus to try and reignite long-lost passions. So then, well, you know the premise. Zany shit happens. Identity theft, car chases, bad cops, mobsters and a running joke where Steve Carell tries to explain their situation, but all anyone cares about is that he stole someone’s dinner reservation.
T. Holy shit! I stole someone’s reservation and now a team of Congolese separatists from the Czech Republic, bent on the destruction of the Hoover Dam and San Diego, are after me.
Z.Hold on a second. You stole someone’s reservation?
T. Ba-Dum. Ok, now we only have to make that joke work 8 more times and we have our movie.
Z. Should Steve Carrell yell unexpectedly?
T. Yes. And Marky-Mark.
All this madcap nonsense involves some flash-drive that holds character-impugning photographs of a pervy senator who has connections with the police department and the mob. So they find the flash drive, then lose the flash drive, then do an awkward striptease. And Steve Carrell expectedly yells unexpectedly again.
For all its faults, they really probably shouldn’t have made this movie. Despite it’s flaws, it was a total waste of time. Making concessions for caveats, this movie was fucking terrible.
So thanks for the evening, Date Night… we’ll call you.
Z. We won’t call.
T. Not until they release the director’s cut where Tina Fey and Mila Kunis make out.
Z. Ooh, that would’ve been a good movie.
T. Masturbate Night.
Date Night: 1 Braveheart.
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