Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Save time for “Date Night”

Date Night movie trailerTina Fey and Steve Carell, known for their hilarious comedic hi-jinks, don’t disappoint in “Date Night,” the newest Shawn Levy flick.

Though not exactly an innovative plot, thanks to the leads, the costars and a ridiculous pole dancing scene, the movie is sure to keep its audience in stitches for nearly the full 88 minutes it graces screens.

Fey and Carell play Claire and Phil Foster, a middle-aged couple with two young children, who, at this point in their relationship are just going through the motions. For the realtor and the lawyer, everything has become stagnant. So, when friends in a similar situation decide to get divorced, the Fosters must try something new – a fancy date night in Manhattan.

They decide to spice things up by taking someone else’s reservation at a swanky restaurant. Everything goes well until they find out that criminals are after the couple whose reservation they took, the Tripplehorns, who are in big trouble with a mob boss.

Hilarity ensues when things get very tense for this boring, normal couple (prompting Carell’s “kill shot” scene from the previews). Though, it’s a pretty cliché-ridden plot featuring out-of-touch adults who have to become sly and savvy.

Director Shawn Levy is known for creating movies in which parents save the day. He directed both “Night at the Museum” movies, as well as “Cheaper By the Dozen,” and had relative success trying to make parents seem like cool super heroes to kids. Levy could have an ulterior motive, being a father of three, but he sure achieves this in “Date Night.”

The only glaring problem with this movie is its believability. Of course it’s a far-fetched plot line, but the storyline about nearly the whole New York Police Department being corrupt, Phil’s ability to hotwire a car and speed off in it and the hardened criminals who can’t seem to hit their mark, despite shooting at the Fosters from a short distance are a little ridiculous.

Then, there’s the fact that this pair could outsmart and outrun the bad guys, all the while trying to figure out their marital problems. However, the basic premise of the film coupled with the spot-on comedic timing of Fey and Carell save “Date Night.”

It’s a wonder that these comedic giants haven’t been paired up before. Tina Fey may be one of the most popular comedians of this century, with her time spent on “Saturday Night Live,” and roles in “Baby Mama” and “Mean Girls.” Steve Carell, too, is hilarious as dim-witted Michael Scott on “The Office,” and amusing parts in “The 40-Year Old Virgin,” and “Anchorman.” They have great chemistry together and easily fall into their roles as a boring married couple.

Even the costars, though not always thought of for their funnier sides, will cause a few giggles from the audience. James Franco and Mila Kunis amuse as the low life criminals, the real Tripplehorns (though that was just an alias). Ray Liotta is featured as the mob boss, while Mark Ruffalo and Kristen Wiig make short appearances. The cast simply blends well together.

“Date Night” is full of dry humor, as well as obvious slapstick moments. It’s a testament to the talents of Fey and Carell that they don’t take the more action-packed scenes too seriously, which keeps the film fresh. For instance, when they find themselves in a tense moment, the Fosters must decipher the difference of “getting bumped off” and “getting whacked off,” keeping the perpetual grin on their audience’s faces.

Though, in keeping with many movies today, “Date Night,” doesn’t bring many new things to the realm of cinema, the film is able to keep viewers interested and full of emotion, whether it’s due to cringe-worthy awkwardness, amusement or even the somewhat cheesy moments. It’s sort of like Mr. and Mrs. Smith, if they were a droll, awkward couple from New Jersey.

“Date Night” is filled to the brim with laughs, fun, a good cast and a dashing, shirtless Mark Wahlberg. What’s not to enjoy?

Kate MacDonald can be reached at [email protected].

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