Date Night starts off cutesy enough, with a happily married, hard working suburban couple (Tina Fey and Steve Carell) sleepwalking through their lackluster love life. Husband decides to spice things up by taking wife out for a night on the town. Things go wrong, identities are mistaken, cops are crooked, chase scenes are dull, strippers are tasteless, etc etc.
I get the gimmick: “Let’s put the two most popular comedic TV icons in a movie together! People will see that!” And with a $25.2 million opening weekend, I guess the trick paid off.
Look, Tina Fey is at the top of her game with 30 Rock, the chick can write a sitcom better than anyone in recent memory. But when she’s not quoting her own material (or mocking Sarah Palin), her wit under delivers. (Notice how she’s great in Mean Girls, which she wrote, but lame in Baby Mama, which she only starred in.)
Steve Carell and his Office crew have been faultering for the past several seasons; the dude needs some new material. (More Little Miss Sunshine, less Michael Scott).
Date Night boasts a great supporting cast, but even they are used simply to fill the seats. Why underuse Mark Ruffalo, Kristin Wiig, William Fichtner, Taraji P. Henson, James Franco, and Mila Kunis so grossly?
Oh well, Date Night may not offer anything new, but there’s always Liz Lemon to fall back on. D+