As a twenty-something single girl on a date with a (somewhat) new guy, I walked into Theater 13, confident that Date Night would bring us both satisfaction. It had to have everything; romance for me, action for him, and comedy for the both of us. However, ten minutes into the movie, the only thing we were both feeling was depressed. And as Tina Fey slobbers on her mouth guard, telling Steve Carell that she can rally for the quick kind of sex, I’m hit with the realization that I never ever ever want to get married. Not the best feeling as he slides his arm around me. Still, as the movie progresses past the first act and we get into the characters true dilemma, it picks up and quickly has me falling out of my chair with laughter.
Date Night follows a long-time married couple, Phil (Carell) and Claire (Fey) as they attempt to rekindle a long lapsed romance by going out for a night on the town without kids, messes, or mouth-guards. However, when they impersonate the Tripplehorns and steal their reservations, a simple case of mistaken identity sends this boring couple from New Jersey into an underworld of sex, mobsters, and dirty cops.
Phil and Claire prove to be savvy in New York City while still maintaining their awkwardness and innocence as they attempt to find the real Tripplehorns, get the flash drive (or computer sticky thingy), and appease the mobsters who show up at every turn. Using their invaluable connection to Mark Wahlberg, some vibrant costumes and of course, their parenting skills, the Fosters rally and beat the bad guys, as we all knew they would.
In their debut as a big screen couple, Fey and Carell manage to convince the audience that they are not two of the most brilliant comedic stars, but a dull married couple desperately trying to save their romance before it’s too late. The characters are likable and relatable; we may not want to be them, but we definitely are (or will one day grow up to be). The beauty of Phil and Claire’s relationship is that it never falters. We never doubt that they will end up together, and that is comforting, as we are not only rooting for them to beat the bad guys, but we are simply rooting for them. Still, James Franco and Mila Kunis, the real Tripplehorns, manage to steal the movie in their one scene by showing that even the couples with the most exciting lives deal with the same problems that the rest of us do.
Scenes like that show that the writing is superb, managing to tie together the suburban life with the seedy underworld, showing that its really all the same. Though there are times, especially in the beginning, that the film takes a more family drama tone, overall, the action and comedic dialogue keep you on your toes for the duration of the film. Though it may be depressing, John Klausner paints and accurate picture of married life and reminds us all how desperate we can sometimes be for a date night.
In the end, the relationship between Phil and Claire is supposed to be stronger due to all they’ve endured. However, this isn’t exactly true. Their relationship was already strong. Rather than accepting their humdrum life, both independently decided to take steps to add excitement to their marriage. This date night didn’t make their marriage stronger; it just reinforced what they already had.
All in all, Date Night makes a pretty good date night; just beware of the impending awkwardness with your significant other.