Saturday, May 1, 2010

"Date Night" : How They Lived Happily Ever After


Did you notice that according to the movie columnists at Rotten Tomatoes, men are mostly giving "Date Night" average reviews, while women reviewers loved it? It's easy to guess which way this review is going to go, from a female reviewer.

The advanced level of humor about marital challenges is new and welcome, and that's a lot to achieve in a romantic comedy these days. So I would recommend it when you could use more humor about marriage in your life. It would be interesting to survey whether this movie pleased the married segment more as I would expect, especially mothers, although lots of men and kids were in my theater audience.

Dinner at a fancy New York restaurant weaves a New Jersey couple into an outlandish plot and involves far more adventure than they and the audience could have dreamed. Scenes of New York were wonderfully panoramic and realistic and their little house in New Jersey was an idyllic haven. "Date Night" is R-rated for good reason, having to do with the place where certain scenes happen.  It was great as an entertaining, escapist movie, albeit one with an unbelievable plot. Part thriller, a dangerous-looking and frightening car chase scared me out of my socks.

"Date Night" ends surprisingly, spectacularly and satisfyingly for the well-cast Steve Carell who plays a lawyer and father and his real estate wife, played by Tina Fey. Leighton Meester plays a realistic baby-sitter who can charge exorbitant prices; babysitters will enjoy this movie, too.

A few scenes could have been edited more tightly, and emotions shown by the characters could have matched the scenes more skilfully and some of Tina Fey's lines appear made-on-the-spot. Despite all that, the movie displays significant effort. I thoroughly enjoyed this undemanding, funny instant classic.

Just be sure to have a ladder  nearby to climb when your car catapults into the Hudson River. Was this meant to be a toned-down echo of the plane that landed in the Hudson River where ferry boats picked up passengers? Put "Date Night" on your movie list.

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