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Cinema Summaries: Date Night

The first critique of "Date Night" that will be incessantly jammed down your throat is that the entire premise is absurd. And that's certainly correct; however, the beautiful thing about comedy is that the ridiculousness of circumstances doesn't ...

Date Night
Tina Fey and Steve Carell play the "boring couple" tossed into a whirlwind of silly excitement. Picture courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The first critique of "Date Night" that will be incessantly jammed down your throat is that the entire premise is absurd. And that's certainly correct; however, the beautiful thing about comedy is that the ridiculousness of circumstances doesn't hinder the hilarity. "Date Night" proves that great characters are all that's necessary to create laughs; and the cohesive talent of Tina Fey (Clair Foster) and Steve Carell (Phil Foster) is as remarkable as you'd expect.

The movie follows a basic comic-thriller foundation laid out by "True Lies," which also hosted a boring couple whose marriage was spiced up by the blaze of gunfire. It begins by following the mundane state of the Foster's marriage, coupled with a scene of sexual negotiation in the bedroom that's priceless. After stealing reservations in a crowded restaurant during the infamous date night, the Fosters are confused with the no show couple who are being hunted by the mob. Explanations be damned when confronted by two angry thugs looking for "a kill shot."

Even the cameo appearances were great. Mila Kunis and James Franco, who play the vagabond couple who pissed of the mob, are almost as great a match as their impersonators, and Mark Walberg gives a smooth performance as an ex-client Claire who "just happens" to remember.

Some of the scenes do seem a little inadvertently awkward and choked. You could almost feel the director, Shawn Levy, constricting the talents of his two leads at times. He's made a dreadful artwork of selling lukewarm, mainstream comedies (Cheaper by the Dozen and Night at the Museum) and such mediocrity would have infringed upon the film had Fey and Carell been weaker actors.

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