Date Night
2010

Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Taraji P. Henson, Jimmi Simpson, Common, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Ray Liotta, William Fichtner, Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo

Phil and Claire are a suburban couple with two small children whose marriage is stuck in a rut. They go out for a romantic evening in Manhattan, but due to mistaken identity it turns into an all-night adventure. The premise is promising, (even if it’s only a variation on the 1980s yuppie comedies such as After Hours) but it doesn’t take long to realise that this film is going to be stupid and mindnumbingly formulaic. It is pitched as a comedy, which means that when Phil and Claire duck bullets in slapstick fashion, there is never any sense of danger. However, it doesn’t make me laugh either. When they recruit the help of a shirtless super-spy, the story cuts all ties with reality. Steve Carell and Tina Fey have both had great success on television with The Office and 30 Rock, respectively, but their limitations as big screen actors are apparent. Although Fey is good at spewing pithy oneliners, she looks uncomfortable with actual acting. Thankfully there’s an impressive number of amusing cameo appearances.