Review: Date Night (2010 movie)

New Jersey married couple Tina Fey and Steve Carrell have each started to worry privately that the romance is going out of their marriage and they’re turning into what a friend of theirs calls his own marital relationship: “really good roommates.” So to liven things up, Carrell decides that their next date night, when they leave the kids with a sitter, should be a romantic dinner at a trendy restaurant in Manhattan.

But they arrive later than planned, the place is crowded, and they have no reservations. They’re hanging around the bar when a hostess comes through looking for the Tripplehorns, and when no one else responds, Carrell announces that they’re the Tripplehorns. This turns out to be a serious mistake.

Partway through dinner a couple of angry-looking guys come to their table and insist Carrell and Fey come outside with them. At first they assume they’re being thrown out for stealing the reservation, but they soon discover these guys don’t work for the restaurant at all. They’re armed thugs sent to relieve the Tripplehorns of a certain flash drive.

From this point it’s an action-adventure-comedy, with corrupt cops and politicians, a pair of dimwitted young small-time crooks (the original Tripplehorns) who are impressively deeply in love, various funny minor characters, and a series of comic set pieces that range from mildly amusing to seriously funny. They get some help from Mark Wahlberg, some sort of government agent Fey had met through her real estate job and who apparently never wears a shirt. He does own at least one, however, because we see it being worn (along with nothing else) by his guest, a stunning young woman who asks Fey and Carrell in her limited English whether they’re there to have sex with them.

When we get around to the inevitable car chase, Carrell and Fey manage to lock bumpers with a hilarious New York cab driver who’s the funniest character in the movie.

I don’t want to make it sound too good — a lot of it is merely mildly amusing and there’s at least one huge plot hole — but it never drags, and Fey and Carrell are so likable and so obviously having a good time that it’s not hard to suspend disbelief literally for the fun of it.


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