COMEDY; 1hr 28min
STARRING: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco
Fright night: Fey and Carell
There’s nothing radically wrong with the marriage of Phil and Claire Foster (Carrel and Fey). If anything, it’s a little too solid. Two rug rats and whitest-collar jobs — he’s a tax lawyer, she’s a realtor — can have that effect. A special date night in Manhattan is supposed to cure their New Jersey blues, which it does in ways the Fosters hadn’t bargained for when two very cheesed-off men (Jimmi Simpson and Common) mistake them for a crooked couple.
The heat is on and Carrel and Fey weather it with the ease of comedy veterans — stay put for the closing outtakes to see what a ball they had. Directed by Night at the Museum’s Shawn Levy, Date Night is more a giggle here and there than a thigh-slapper through and through. The monkey business gets a lift with Joe Cool input from Wahlberg, as a walking, shirtless punchline, and Franco, basically going off. But of course, what really sells it is the C–F team: always a breeze to hang out with, even in the silliest of circs.