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Date Night - Movie Review

Article by
Faith Brotherston

This week, Andrew Sheldrick and Faith Brotherston review Date Night. US Comedy prime time stars Steve Carell and Tina Fey star as a successful suburban couple stuck in a rut of work, kids, mouth cards and nasal strips, until they decide to inject the romance back into their life and head into the city for dinner. Unable to get a table at a top restaurant, the couple take the reservation of a no-show couple, and things start to get a little out of hand…

Andrew says:

Ahhh the joy of comedy. When surrounded by countless others in a cinema LOLing and laughing it’s nay impossible not to follow suit. And so it was with Shawn Levy’s latest comedy, Date Night. Upon viewing the film in a moderately packed out auditorium there was a steady flow of tittering throughout, leaving me to believe I rather enjoyed it. And at the time I suspect perhaps I did, but as I now come to put pen to paper I’m somewhat lost for words. Or at least many positive ones. Funny that.

My greatest issue with the film was its unevenness, or more specifically the fact that the filmmakers didn’t seem to entirely know which demographic they were targeting. Only long-standing couples – surely the film’s intended target audience – will be able to truly empathise with the central characters’ predicament of a married life of utter predictability. How much they’ll relate to the occasional crass jokes though is anyone’s guess. Equally, younger cinema goers may well appreciate the low brow humour, but how much they’ll care about the plight of a middle-aged married couple is arguable.

Uneven plot issues aside, my second gripe is the absolute waste of Tina Fey and Steve Carell. As a massive fan of both their individual US hit comedies (30 Rock/The Office) it pained me to see them creatively neutered by a predictably tired and clichéd script. Renowned for their improv skills, it was obvious every time they deviated from the page, it’s only a shame they weren’t given the freedom to do it more often. If any proof was needed, stay for the end credits when a minute of completely improvised outtakes elicit more laughs than the preceding 90 minutes. Elsewhere, James Franco, Mila Kunis and a permanently shirtless Marky Mark (minus his funky bunch) make the most of their glorified cameos, though once again you wish they’d been given free reign.

Simply put. If you’re looking for a side-splitting comedy to enjoy with the other half I’d personally skip Date Night and stay at home instead; When Harry Met Sally is bound to be on one of the channels.

Faith says:

Not so surprisingly, I disagree. I loved this film; it’s the funniest I’ve seen in a long time and I was one of the said individuals crying tears of mirth. I do agree that the script was a little laboured in parts, but that was more than compensated for by the entertainment value.

I thought Tina Fey and Steve Carell worked brilliantly as a couple and their quirky styles fitted together like a jigsaw puzzle. I’ve only seen their respective TV shows a couple of times, but I’m definitely going to make sure I watch more.

It’s been a long time since I watched a romantic comedy that was funnier than it was romantic, and that’s why this fits the bill for the perfect his ‘n’ hers film for a Friday – for once there are no grand gestures that make you stare wistfully at the screen and wish if only… Date Night makes you smile at the familiar aspects, vow to follow suit and shake it up a little, and moreover, leave with a smile and knowing everything is just fine. That said, Tina Fey’s legs have to be seen to be believed. If only…

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Name: Faith Brotherston
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