We've all busted our guts watching them on The Office and 30 Rock, and now Steve Carl and Tina Fey have finally been paired up in the only venue that could handle both of them together. The big screen debut of such hilarious talents should be comedic nitroglycerin, making Date Night blow up at the box office... right?
Well, not really. Date Night has a lot going for it, mostly in the form of Fey and Carell, but it fails to be that breakout hit that it probably should have been. Helmed by Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy, Date Night goes through the paces, but comes out uneven in the end.
What starts off as another mundane night for Claire and Phil Foster, played by Fey and Carell respectively, turns into anything but when they try to spice up their love life by going to a hot new Manhattan night club called Claw. When they find that it's impossible to get in, the average duo makes a bold move and claims they are the Tripplehorns, a couple on the list. And here starts the downward spiral into the crazy underworld of New York, as the real Tripplehorns are being sought after by a rough and tumble mob boss, played in typical slick style by Ray Liotta, for a flash drive they are rumored to have in their possession.
Hitchockian, yes, and I suppose it is funnier than The Trouble With Harry, but the Fosters' wild ride isn't nearly as adeptly handled as something the master of suspense could have woven. But then again, it's a comedy, not a thriller! Impersonating the Tripplehorns leads the Fosters down the rabbit hole, where they encounter a shirtless Mark Wahlberg, a stoned James Franco and Mila Kunis, and yes, car chases. It's all amusing, but it's not the kind of hearty belly laughing you might have expected from a movie starring Tina Fey and Steve Carell. I guess I can't say that enough.
If I had to pick a movie hat evoked the same feelings I had about this film, it would have to be Get Smart, Carell's most recent comedy film. It combined two great things, two things that should, by all intents and purposes, add up to something greater than the two of them separately. I can't complain because I was entertained, but I can't exactly say it was good, and it certainly wasn't as funny as I expected.
And that's the kicker. As if to add insult to injury, Levy plays some choice outtakes during the end credits. Outtakes that show how well Fey and Carell really can shine together. Too bad those parts couldn't be in the film.