Movie Muhfriday 11: Date Night – 4-out-of-10 T’s *SPOILERS!!!*

This is gonna be my first really spoiler heavy review, for the simple fact that I can’t really relay just how ridiculous this movie was without them. So beware, for:

****HERE THERE BE SPOILERS!!!****

This movie… this movie surprised me. I really, really wanted this to be awesome, because I loved everything about the premise: two of the greatest screen comedians (Steve Carell and Tina Fey) playing roles that I totally believe they could be in real life (a married couple who are kind of stuck in a groove) who do something daring and get thrust into a situation that is anything but boring. That, my friends, has the potential to be cinematic and comedy gold.

The film did not live up to its potential. Here’s a handy graph I whipped up, which I will refer back to in the remainder of this review. It gets kinda long, so forgive me. I’ll try to throw in enough witty “zings” to keep this entertaining. Also, lots of links, because I like links, and if Wikipedia were a person, I’d elect them President of Everything Awesome.

The movie begins on a pretty good note: Steve and Tina are married, they’re pretty successful, and they’re comfortable with each other… but the spark is gone. Everything is predictable, and then one of their married-couple-friends announce that they’re getting divorced. They don’t hate each other, but neither are they in love… they’re just “Really excellent room mates.”

You can see that this strikes a chord with our heroes.

So, on their next scheduled Date Night, Tina gets all gussied up (which is awesome cause I have a bit of a crush of Tina Fey, for which I am not at all ashamed), which prompts Steve to make some extra effort as well, and they go into the city to try dinner some place fancy and new. Of course, they can’t get in, so they do that little bit of daring and take someone’s reservation. The reservation makers were no shows, so who’s it gonna hurt, right? And they have a great time.

Then, come the bad guys: they believe that Steve and Tina are the ones who made the reservation, the Triplehorns, and the Triplehorns have something that the bad guys want. Great setup, right? That’s what I thought. I was digging the movie up till right about now. Then, there’s the shooting.

You remember the action scenes in “Walker, Texas Ranger”? There was a way the camera moved, which is pretty common for all action scenes on TV, but that’s where I noticed it first. It was different from movies. Well, when S & T make their escape, I felt like I was watching a TV movie. Just… the way the camera moved, the way the heroes were avoiding bullets, how they moved just a little too fast, like they took out one frame for every 4 or 5, so they look like their in more of a hurry but it doesn’t quite jive with our senses. That’s what it felt like. Not bad, I guess (I love me some Walker) but it kinda took me out of the movie.

And here begins our Ridiculosity Curve.

The bad guys think S&T; have something, a flash drive that has something they want. S&T; can’t go to the police for reasons I shan’t divulge, so they go to somebody that Tina knew years ago, who works private security/mercenary jobs/government shenanigans: Mark Wahlberg.

I like Marky Mark. He grew on me after the Italian Job, then I saw Shooter, Invincible, i ♥ huckabees … the dude won me over. In this, he is the Deus Ex Machina, he’s the God in the Machine, he’s the person they go to to make the more ridiculous bits of the plot make some semblance of sense, and it doesn’t really work.

Then, they steal his car. What follows should probably be insulting to black people (that doesn’t really require a link, but there’s a Wikipedia article, so I had to let everyone know about it) everywhere. There’s a cab driver, who is black, and is in the film for the entirety of the car chase, so about 4 minutes, which is just long enough to spout every token-black-guy phrase ever committed to film, including “that is whack” and other stuff I’ve blocked out from embarrassment. Then he jumps out of the car. Awesome.

Well, they find out that the person who’s looking for them isn’t the person they thought, its some other guy, who frequents a strip club that comes with hookers. Before they go in, though, they return to Marky Mark, who apparently helps them with more ridiculousness.

They go to the hooker-club, Tina pretending to be a hooker, Steve pretending to be her pimp, and they get into the room of the guy that’s been looking for them. He doesn’t know who they are, though, and for some reason before they tell him, they play along with his erotic fantasizing and do the most awkward two-person pole dance I’ve ever seen ever (not that I’ve seen many, so that isn’t really hard, but it’s still just… bad to watch).

Once they spill the beans, they are taken to the roof, where they instigate a fight between the people who they thought were looking for them and the people who were actually looking for them, and then the cops show up. Yay! Also, Steve had a wire on (provided by Marky Mark), so when the bad guys were talking as they fought, he caught their confession on tape! Everyone goes home happy.

Here’s where it gets back to the movie I wanted: I knew this was going to happen before I saw the movie, and I was fine with that. Sometimes, it’s okay that you know how a movie is going to end, as long as the journey has some new stuff in it. This ending I was cool with… I just wish the body of the film had been different.

Steve and Tina have breakfast, talk about why they love each other, they go home, and in the safety of their yard, proceed to make with the passionate kissing on the lawn.

****THE SPOILERS IS ENDED!!!****


There were funny bits. I just think that they lost track of what they were doing during the middle of this movie, and it suffered for it. I really believe that this could have been a great movie, which makes the disappointment of what it actually is that much more of a let down.

You’ll be okay renting this, and I’d even recommend seeing it at a dollar theater maybe, but this movie isn’t worth an $8 tic
ket.

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