Date Night (15)

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The ViewBirmingham Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/04/2010

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 88 mins

Hugely enjoyable, sharply written and frequently hilarious comedy with a pair of note-perfect comic performances from Steve Carell and Tina Fey.

What's it all about?
Directed by Shawn Levy, Date Night stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey as New Jersey married couple Phil and Claire Foster, who are too exhausted by the pressures of work and their two small children to really make an effort for their regular date nights. To change their routine, Phil takes Claire to New York but they quickly get more excitement than they bargained for when they pose as a couple called the Tripplehorns to get a table in a restaurant, get mistaken for the real Tripplehorns by a couple of gun-toting thugs (Jimmi Simpson and Common) and wind up on the run from a notorious mob boss (Ray Liotta).

The Good
Carell and Fey are two of America's best-loved comedy actors (particularly if you're a fan of both The Office and 30 Rock) and a huge part of the appeal of Date Night lies in seeing these two comic actors sparking off each other. To that end, the film doesn't disappoint – they have delightful comic chemistry together and are adept at delivering improvised one-liners, as demonstrated by the extensive outtakes during the closing credits.

There's also strong comic support from a terrific supporting cast that includes Mark Wahlberg (as a permanently shirtless security expert who's an ex-client of Claire's), Ray Liotta (coasting, but clearly enjoying himself) and James Franco and Mila Kunis, who are extremely funny as the real Tripplehorns.

The Great
Levy (who made the Night at the Museum movies) keeps things moving at a decent pace and orchestrates at least one very amusing action set-piece involving an unusual car chase. On top of that, the script delivers a steady stream of great lines and hilarious gags, including one brilliant scene that will have you chuckling for weeks afterwards.

Aside from delivering a steady stream of decent laughs, the script is also careful to keep Phil and Claire grounded in reality and their slightly frazzled relationship is both well written and convincing. That said, it's hard to imagine the film would be quite as much fun with different actors as the leads.

Worth seeing?
Date Night is a well directed, sharply written and frequently hilarious comedy with terrific comic performances from Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Recommended.

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Content updated: 22/07/2018 17:29

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