‘Date Night’ humorous, but sometimes awkward

“Date Night”
Directed by: Shawn Levy
and Steve Carell
Run Time: 88 min
Genre: Comedy, Romance

Anyone who has seen a preview or a movie poster for “Date Night” knows what this movie is about. An average couple struggling to keep their marriage alive with the advent of parenthood goes out on a special date to liven things up and wacky events ensue.

The plot itself is pretty implausible. Someone stealing another person’s dinner reservations has never been known to end up in flying bullets and car chases. That’s just absurd.

Yet that is what makes this movie so appealing: it harkens back to classic screwball comedies. True to form, the main characters are thrown into a ridiculous situation that they cannot possibly find the humor in.

This formula works only because of the phenomenal talents of Steve Carell (“Get Smart”) and Tina Fey (“The Invention of Lying”). If anyone else had been cast in these roles, the movie would be a disaster. However, thanks to the amazing combination of their comedic skills this movie becomes one of the best comedies produced in years.

Their chemistry zings and creates movie lines that will be quoted around water coolers for years to come. And forget every car chase scene that has come before, as this movie has the funniest high-speed sequence ever seen.

Where the plot is predictable, the comedy is not. Again, thanks to the quick improv abilities of Fey and Carell who make the script even better than it was written, the movie actually works. These two should have been paired together on screen long ago and hopefully will be again.

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That is not to say that the laughs are non-stop. In fact, the introduction of the movie is very rough and, frankly, tries too hard. The jokes drop like lead weights because they are too cerebral or go too far. Unfortunately, there are many such awkward moments throughout the entire movie where viewers will struggle with knowing how to react.

In spite of that, there are some truly hilarious scenes that will have audiences laughing so hard they’ll be gasping for breath. It is these moments clumsily glued together that make watching the movie in theaters worthwhile.