Saturday, April 10, 2010

"Date Night" (2010) - Movie Review

Mind is a game of irony. It elaborately makes to believe on the fundamentals of stability, reliability, security and sprinkled ambition to it. Then before time springs itself like a clown out of the box, it creates the itch for unpredictability and on the edge rides. Phil Foster (Steve Carell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey) are in the former part of the game when “Date Night” begins. They have two troublesome cute kids and the sleep walking weekday routines. The chore is such that the schedule date nights are becoming another exercise. Then the latter part of the game happens, more than they asked for.

These are the average suckers of suburbia. Phil is a tax consultant and Claire is the realtor. Something tells their kids will grow up to be a paper pusher. The concept of mistaken identity in films are like discovering wheels but they wheel it well. Especially due to their lead cast and flurries of cameos sprouting like congested chicken farm. Phil sits in the book club like a man not to be there but there for Claire. When you are a man circled by women, the last thing you want to be insensitive is about menstruation. Another identical couple are breaking up and they in their traditional sense have been happy for all the hangouts they have been. It is a rude awakening for the Fosters. May be their marriage is on a collision course too.

So both of them in their way decide to take the oncoming date night seriously. While Claire tidies up and dresses well, Phil decides to hit the city for a posh restaurant. A restaurant with one word is always expensive, trust me on this. When Phil desperately want this night to work, the snubbing attitude of the restaurant attendant invigorates their agony. At that point there is a table ready announcement for Mr. and Mrs. Triplehorn and it appears to be a no show. Phil grabs the opportunity and the bill appears to make them take a second mortgage, they finally see the light for their seemingly boring marriage. But no wait, the original Triplehorns are not simpletons and before the Fosters know it, they are at the gun point by two dangerous guys (Jimmi Simpson and Common). The fun begins.

“Date Night” never assumes nor is in denial of where it is standing. It is a shameless identity swap and the stale couple will find their love rejuvenated when the night is over. Still it comes out untarnished because it has some of the funniest conversations about marriage, the idea of counting to three and shirtless Mark Wahlberg. With James Franco and Mila Kunis as the trashy couple, the film makes it landmark whenever there is an iota of chance to become lull.

Phil and Claire appear to have the regular married life. They have a good job, great children and a nice house. Their normal date night have their part of fun. Each of them look around and begin to form stories of the other customers. They are in the perfect time of knowing each other’s flaws and gave up on correcting it. This is the life they are going to live for the rest of the years till they die. This gets established so fast and so persuading and relates to almost every other couple in the current trend. The idea of getting right to the point gets played with rush free hurriedness and it moves on with snap of a finger.

The master of uncomfortableness Steve Carell does his territorial skills but also comes off as this real sweet and genuine husband to Tina Fey’s Claire. Their problems which might be miniscule in the scheme of big things takes the spot light in a fast car pull over moment. In that both Carell and Fey reach their audience to be this lovely couple going through a dry path in their marriage.

But the film is not a lesson in marriage nor a drama in the relationship. It is the mindless, corny and predictable method which gets the right actors and the right screenplay. It keeps it simple and superbly short. In singlehandedly the best scene in the film, we see how Carell and Fey let James Franco and Mila Kunis take the centre stage and do their thing. “Date Night” is full of those wherein the actors let others do their thing. This much needed professional courtesy in this screenplay makes this adventure comedy action into well, an adventure comedy action.

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