Date Night offers us a number of first-class passengers who have been packed into a Yugo of a movie. The passengers make the ride a reasonably pleasant one, but only because they’re willing to get out on occasion and push the vehicle up a hill. Nearly everyone in front of the camera makes the actions of those behind the camera appear to matter far less than they actually do if you examine the movie in more than the most cursory manner. Trouble emerges at the very onset. This is one of those affairs where you have to slog through 15 minutes of set-up (and the movie’s only 88 minutes long) to get to the story that was spelled out in approximately 30 seconds of trailer. Fortunately, Steve Carell and Tina Fey have enough casual chemistry to keep the film moving even when it’s stuck in exposition neutral. Once the story itself begins — with Carell pretending to be someone else in order to get reservations at a posh restaurant, leading to he and Fey being mistaken for a pair of low-rent blackmailers who’ve crossed a mob boss — the film is on better ground. The material here is fairly sharp for a while. But really it’s the stars — aided by some choice guest turns from Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, and Ray Liotta — that make the movie a reasonably engaging distraction.
Director: Shawn Levy
Writer: Josh Klausner
Producer: Shawn Levy
Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Taraji P. Henson, Jimmi Simpson, Common, William Fichtner, Leighton Meester, J.B. Smoove and Kristen Wiig