Date Night reminds me of the food served at local restaurants in New Jersey: deep fried and full of grease, which can be quite tasty when you are hungry, but ill-effect the following day, or, at best, forgotten, if you are lucky. What absolutely is going for this film, are its two lead characters: Steve Carell and Tina Fey. Not only do they give a shining and very funny performance, they also appear very credible as a real low-key, average couple, going on a date night in the Big Apple. Another comic performance worth mentioning is of J. B. Smoove as the taxi driver – so to not give away the scene, I will refrain from further explaining why. But beside these, the rest of the film follows a shallow, formulated plot, and though the film is casted with well-known name actors, they all play flat characters of no interest. As a side note, it’s obvious this film was produced before iPad came out as no doubt Amazon paid a small fortune to have its Kindle featured in the movie… The other flaw with the film is the mixture of genres. This, for the most part, is an action-comedy film and as such should have stuck to its genre. But then, at a major point in the film, it turns into serious life-examining drama about relationships. Though the moment on its own works (thanks to the credibility of the two main characters), it does not integrate well into the rest of the film, making it uneven and disturbing the film’s natural flow. Mixing genres is a minefield to be avoided. With very rare exception, it just doesn’t work.
Now, can anyone explain to me how did Natanya (name of a small Israeli shore town) got on this movie’s map? And for that matter, what is the deal with the half naked Israeli model Gal Gadot (named Natanya in this film…) who is planted into one of the scene, adding no real contribution to the plot but rather to serve as nonsense decoration?
All in all, if you have no better films playing in your area, which is mostly the situation for us, you will enjoy the film, laugh on more than one occasion, and smile on most others. But in terms of potential, this film could have been much more than it is.