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Date Night delivers few laughs

Date Night follows Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell and Tina Fey), a New Jersey couple, bored with their mundane married life. The couple fear for the future of their relationship after seeing the demise of their best friend’s marriage.

Their weekly ‘date night’ usually consists of dinner at the local steakhouse but in an effort to rekindle their old romantic passion they try and fail to get a table at one of Manhattan’s hippest restaurants. Unperturbed, Phil decides to take the reservation of a no-show couple, the Triplehorns, and halfway through their meal the pair are confronted by two mob members accusing them of stealing mob boss Joe Miletto’s (Ray Liotta) flash drive.

The case of mistaken identity evolves into a frantic non-stop chase around New York City as the Fosters fight for survival by desperately avoiding capture by Miletto’s henchmen.  All this while encountering a few eccentric characters along the way, providing the couple with an unforgettable ‘date night.’

Date Night is an undoubtedly fun screwball comedy and while the film’s plot and concept is wholly unoriginal, it delivers exactly what one would expect from a film from this genre. Fey and Carell have believable on-screen chemistry and the film’s tempo is rapid enough to keep the viewer engaged throughout. However, it is the scene-stealing cameo appearances from the likes of James Franco and Mila Kunis which save the film from mediocrity.

The film’s screenplay is its biggest downfall. Despite some witty modern pop culture references throughout, some of the jokes feel stale and the dialogue between Fey and Carell is often clichéd. The screenplay doesn’t properly blend together the mix of comedy and action because of this, but it’s the endearing cast who manage to take Date Night from being an unimaginative, pedestrian action rom-com into a thoroughly watchable one.

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