Thursday, April 22, 2010

Date Night: Review

There were two things about the new Tina Fey/Steve Carell movie that struck me when I left the theater that gave me a happy feeling. The first was that a really funny movie hadn't put any of its best humor into ANY of the previews or trailers. Yes, there were a few moments that weren't as funny because I'd seen them several times in the trailers (removing her mouth guard so they can fool around). The marketers of this movie get huge props for actually sampling the movie rather than giving it away. The second thing was that this movie, while totally ridiculous, put all the crazy into one character, so it's easy to believe all the other characters are really normal people making the best of bad situations. Usually in normal people vs the mob movies, the main characters suddenly have talents or abilities that help them outsmart the crooks. Date Night gave all those qualities to Mark Wahlberg while still making Tina Fey and Steve Carell into complete and unique normal people.

Though the story doesn't really matter, here you go. Fey and Carell are a husband and wife from NJ who decide to have dinner in NYC, and because they arrive late, they steal a no-show's reservation. The no-shows were blackmailing some bad people who have shown up to get the blackmail stuff back. Tina and Steve confess to having hidden the material to escape and then they stay one step ahead of the bad guys for quite a while trying to find the real blackmailers and ending the problem. They ask Wahlberg for help - he's a "security expert" so he knows how to do all kinds of spy stuff. During the chasing around Manhattan in one night, some of the humor comes from the physical comedy trying to escape bad guys or changing clothes to blend in, etc. The rest comes from the Fey/Carell repartee, some arguing about their marriage and some just being normal people thrown into a strange situation and how they react to it. I'm trying not to give away all the funny parts, so forgive the rambling. There are at least 2 moments when I actually thought I would hurt the person next to me at the theater I was laughing so hard. And lots of other giggling. Possibly one of the funniest movies I've seen in the last couple of years. It's not non-stop laughs, but if you like Fey or Carell in their day jobs on "30 Rock" or "The Office", you'll really like this too. 4 of 5 stars/lambs

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