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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

August 17, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

Accent

Film adds action to fuel comedy

Next time you’re at a restaurant and think of stealing someone’s reservation, you might want to think twice, especially if the name is Tripplehorn. In “Date Night,” Phil and Claire Foster learn this lesson in a simple and enjoyable movie that breaks from the clichés of romantic comedies.

Phil and Claire (Steve Carrell and Tina Fey), a couple from New Jersey, are stuck in a rut. Trying to spice up their love life, Phil takes Claire to an exclusive Manhattan restaurant where they take the Tripplehorns’ reservations. Soon, two con men (Common and Jimmi Simpson) escort them out of the restaurant. Instead of the night they planned, the couple embarks on an all-night adventure through New York City.

While “Date Night” falls in the romantic-comedy genre, it follows a different story line than most. The couple looking to add some adventure into their lives, though not entirely original, is a refreshingly different plot basis than the classic boy-meets-girl story.

Fey, known for “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” and Carell, of “The Office,” are perfect as Claire and Phil. They make everything about their characters seem relatable from her nagging to his jealously. Their chemistry turns the Fosters from an onscreen couple to the couple-next-door. In “Date Night,” Carell and Fey prove just why they are the king and queen of comedy.

The script by Josh Klausner, who also wrote “Shrek the Third,” delivers audiences an uncomplicated story with humorous dialogue. Instead of focusing the film solely on comedy, the film is full of action scenes with car chases, quick shoot-outs and helicopter rescues that are expertly mixed in with quirky and witty dialogue.

However, the film had some scenes that were too long. When Carell and Fey impersonate a stripper and pimp, they are forced to dance for a sleazy district attorney (William Fichtner). This scene is so long and drawn out that it is awkward, forced and uncomfortable to watch.

“Date Night” isn’t a brilliant classic, but it is a charming film. The on-screen couples, fresh story line and humorous dialogue delivered with impeccable comedic timing make this film well worth seeing on a date night.

“Date Night” was written by Josh Klausner and directed by Shawn Levy.