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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Comedians deliver laughs as a team in Date Night

Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) are a bored couple looking for a spark in their relationship. The couple’s date goes wrong when a couple of goons chase them out of a restaurant after mistaking them as another couple named the Tripplehorns. Phil and Claire seek help from Mark Wahlberg, who plays a security expert. Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film
Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) are a bored couple looking for a spark in their relationship. The couple’s date goes wrong when a couple of goons chase them out of a restaurant after mistaking them as another couple named the Tripplehorns. Phil and Claire seek help from Mark Wahlberg, who plays a security expert. Photo courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film

By Joshua Knopp/reporter

It’s rare, but there is such a thing as good cliché.

Date Night follows Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire (Tina Fey) Foster on a date night. The Fosters are attempting to break their usual routine by getting into an au courant seafood place in Manhattan. When they can’t get in because of a lack of reservation, they take the reservation of the no-show Tripplehorns, who, unbeknownst to the Fosters, are mixed up with a corrupt district attorney (William Fichtner) and a regional drug lord (Ray Liotta).

This movie follows the template of a couple film. The Fosters, in a dull marriage, are beset on all sides by couples divorcing from the same situation, young couples who are still actively in love and a defiantly shirtless Mark Wahlberg.

The template, when performed correctly as it is in Date Night, touches on the many issues that surround two people who have been in love for a long time. The story appeals to many audiences, from a first date looking for a laugh to a couple in this very situation. This is why the story is told so often.

Date Night takes this templated story and adds a fresh twist to it, and that fresh twist is due solely to the incredible performances of Carell and Fey. The outtakes, which are many and very funny, make it plain to the audience that the two ad lib through most of the film. The chemistry between the two, both on and off screen, is tremendous. Some critics have said they wouldn’t be surprised if Carell and Fey were married in real life.

While the other acting performances serve only to support the two leads, they are in and of themselves well done. Wahlberg manages to be more than a pretty torso. Liotta and Fichtner, both in limited roles, can portray deep graft within the legal system. The Tripplehorns (James Franco and Mila Kunis) only see four minutes of screen time but are good.

Because of the stars’ ad libbing, it is apparent that the strength of not only the acting, but the strength of the script hinges on these performances. With fairly weak directing also in tow, Carell, Fey and the rest of the cast carry the entire film and carry it well, delivering laughs, wows and a fairly involved plotline to the audience.

 

Final take: Not just another stagnant-marriage adventure movie, but Steve Carell and Tina Fey’s stagnant-marriage adventure movie.

Those who will enjoy it: Those who can sympathize, Carell fans, Fey fans, Wahlberg fans, anyone who can get the humor.

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