She Said/He Said
Date Night/Clash of the Titans 3-D
By Caroline Thibodeaux
May 4, 2010
This been a very busy couple of months for me and the Big Daddy. So much so that we’ve gotten very far behind in our movie watching. We decided to do some catch up and check out a couple of movies that we normally would have seen and written about closer to their opening weekends. Better late than never, I guess - at least in the case of one of these films.
Date Night stars Tina Fey and Steve Carell as a typical suburban New Jersey married couple with two kids. Real estate agent Claire and tax lawyer Phil Foster find themselves settled into an endless soul-sucking rut of work, taking care of the kids, and perfunctory lovemaking. Even their once a week date night has declined into a meek, rote activity where the Fosters make up storylines for the couples around them as they ingest gas-inducing potato skins. Life together has become stale and they are shaken when their best friends announce their impending divorce.
In an attempt to shake things up, Phil proposes they do date night a little differently and have dinner at a swank new restaurant in Manhattan. When they can’t get a table (on a Friday night in Manhattan at a new trendy place – duh), Phil throws caution to the wind and takes over the reservation of an absent couple by pretending he and Claire are that couple – The Tripplehorns. It turns out to be a chance he shouldn’t have taken as this simple case of mistaken identity throws the Fosters into a nightmare of crooked cops, mob bosses, sex trafficking, car crashes, blackmail and much gunplay.
Directed by Shawn Levy of the blockbuster Night at the Museum franchise, from a screenplay by Josh Klausner, Fey and Carell are a delight but it’s evident from start to finish that they are above the material and the writing doesn’t truly serve them. I would have liked to have seen Fey and Carell get the opportunity to cut loose a bit more – they’re both funnier than Klausner’s script. But even with that said, the movie is an amusing enough little diversion.
There’s strong supporting work from William Fichtner as a sex-crazed DA and James Franco and Mila Kunis as shady illicit doppelgangers to Claire and Phil. As the action-comedy unfolds, we catch a glimpse of a couple thoroughly in over their heads who manage to survive catastrophe after catastrophe relying only upon each other (and a determinedly shirtless Mark Wahlberg). It’s no surprise that they end up saving their marriage while in the process of saving their butts, but it’s still fun watching them get there. And I can think of a lot of worse ways to spend time with a significant other.
And one of those ways is by watching Clash of the Titans 3-D.