Most romantic film #20: Date Night (2010)

This is an out-of-the-ordinary comedy starring two really funny people–who are actually funny in this movie.

Yeah, not usual…

Tina Fey and Steve Carell star as a couple, Phil and Claire Foster, who are pretty much taking their marriage for granted. They are happily married, not on the brink of dramatic divorce, not cheating or secret alcoholics or cokeheads… they’re just bored. They are jolted, however, by the divorce plans of their best friends, and immediately plan a “date night” in NYC (way beyond their usual weekly routine). Sounds good, but once they get to the trendy restaurant, they cannot get seated (bo-ring suburban people would never be seated in this upscale hotspot). But Phil is desperate to give Claire a “night out,” so they take the reservation of another (no-show) couple.

Mayhem ensues, because this couple is, in fact, wanted by a mob boss for stealing an important flash drive from him (hey, it’s 2010!).  

Then the mob boss has cops in his pocket (shades of DREAM TEAM), and more mayhem ensues…

To the point where the couple has to turn to one of Claire’s clients, played by Mark Walhberg, who is a top security expert and really, really buff guy. Walhberg is hilarious, as is Carell, in these scenes. Other very funny guest stars include James Franco and Mila Kunis as the real couple who stole the flash drive… but I will say no more about their one, terrifically funny scene.

Consistently, though, Fey and Carell are funny–and romantic as a couple rediscovering each other as well as trying to survive. The comedy is sometimes lame, and sometimes broad, but the film is not the 13-year-old boy toilet/fart/boob humor I see too much of. The story is believable, the inventions great (even the strip club scenes, which could have gone awfully wrong).

And one of the funniest car chases, including a cab, I’ve ever seen. Beautifully choreographed and shot!

DATE NIGHT is a date night movie…

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