Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reviews by Hubie Goode: Date Night

Date Night

Phil Foster Steve Carell
Claire Foster Tina Fey
Taste James Franco
Holbrook Mark Wahlberg
Whippit Mila Kunis
Mob boss Ray Liotta

20th Century Fox presents a film directed by Shawn Levy. Screenplay by Josh Klausner. Running time: 88 minutes. MPAA rating: PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference.

Steve Carell of “The Office” and Tina Fey of “30 Rock”, two current big time sitcoms producing under the mantel of NBC Universal, play Mr. and Mrs. “ordinary joe” in a movie from yesterday called Date Night. In this movie they are Phil Foster and Claire Foster respectively, who find reafirmation of their married love while being mistakenly placed in the gun sights of bad guys who mean to do them harm. In the meantime they run, they scramble, they survive by their wits and enviable luck in order to survive, oh and, they also visit a strip club.

They start out as many do, after the bloom has worn off the “romance rose”. They have kids and jobs and the myriad of daily tasks that involve the married life which are never alluded to in classical romantic literature about love. As a response they find a way to have a date night just for themselves, some time together, the impetus for their marriage in the first place which has become muddied amongst the inevitabilities of what comes after the honeymoon. Carell and Fey play the regular guys in a very “by the numbers way”, and that’s a good thing.

They do show a few signs of their sitcom personas here and there but for the most part we do find them to be other people than those we see on TV. This is nice since it lends more of an air of the believable and relatable for the audience to enjoy. So much so, in fact, that when they finally do get to go out, we are behind them all the way.

They attempt to “coup” a reservation in a hard to get into restaurant for the evening, an attempt to break the bonds of the mundane, and in so doing are mistaken for people better left in hiding by some knarly hit men. Phil and Claire are suddenly thrown into dire moments of distress and living on the edge that they had never bargained for, and the tension goes a long way to make the mostly tepid comedy work.

Comedians know how this works, the character can never know that the situation is comedic, they must be all frustration and panic while we laugh at the ridiculous situation. Just look up Chris Farley’s Japanese Game Show skit on YouTube for a prime example of this.

No need to worry about over the top silliness here, say as “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” might have done. There isn’t a lot of korn and two dimensionality in character or plot. The movie stays true to itself and doesn’t wink in your direction or make light of itself. The screen play takes itself as realistically and straightforwardly as it possibly can without losing the title of “comedy movie”. And for the audience this works just fine. We are, after all, all adults here. (I hope!)

Surprisingly, the movie is indeed involving, and this is due a lot to the performances of its stars as the couple next door. Ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances rarely get a chance to survive these sorts of mad cap type adventures. If you are with a wife or girlfriend who has been around for a while, the vicarious dive into “James Bond” style territory will be a nice visit for you both.

After the movie, when no one was looking, I poked my head into the theater next door at the multiplex and stayed around for the movie “The Bounty Hunter”. In this movie Gerard Butler and Jennifer Aniston are a divorced couple who find reafirmation of their love while being placed in the gun sights of bad guys who mean to do them harm. In the meantime they run, they scramble, they survive by their wits and enviable luck in order to survive, oh and, they also visit a strip club.

But you already know that story now.

If you have any doubts as to whether or not spending money in a strip club invests in the criminal element of our society, just ask Hollywood, they seem quite convinced of the answer.

3.5 out of 5 stars

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