Thursday, 22 April 2010
REVIEW: Date Night
The expressions, they say everything. Date Night, more actively then any film that I can think of, tests the theory that if you put enough talented people into something that is pretty much shite, it will make it into something good. Or in other words, if you give Steve Carell bad dialogue, then Steve Carell will make it into good dialogue, one way or another. Date Night features an out-dated concept, an awkward script and more then one of what I like to call 'Accidental Husband' moments, where an attempted joke is so horribly unfunny that you consequently experience an embarrassment so pitiless, that the recollection of it years later will still make you squirm.
But because of the many, many talented people that were persuaded/blackmailed into being in Date Night, there are moments to enjoy. In particular the cameos of James Franco and Mila Kunis playing a lowlife couple called Taste and Whippet, whom this movie clearly should have been entirely about. Franco in particular just straight up fucking owns, and is a becoming a little bit of comedic genius these days. He's come a long way since being so fucking awful as Harry Osborn in the Spider-Man movies. Fey and Carell, although a believable couple visually, and that's pleasing to see in a mainstream release, played up to the camera a bit too much for my liking, so much so that I almost preferred Carell when he wasn't being funny. And in a comedy as broad as this that's a deer in the headlights type deal. Fey is OK I guess, but like Carell mugs a bit too frequently. I guess that's what happens when you put Shawn ' Pink Panther 2.0' Levy behind the camera. Ray Liotta does his usual rent a mob boss thing, I kind of dug the legend that is William Fichtner as the ridiculously caricatured sleazy politician, and Mark Wahlberg's sense of naive sincerity is something of a potential comedic goldmine that only I Heart Huckabees has properly utilized, one day maybe, because this movie just makes jokes about his abs, which, admittedly, are stunning.
You've seen the trailer so you don't need me to tell you what happens. Its True Lies if everyone was who they pretended to be. You know everything that could conceivably happen, and it does, exactly as you think it will. Some may find it cheaply comforting, I simply find it tiring that this amount of on camera talent was wasted on something so inherently useless. Having said that, it does feature Jimmi Simpson, who is one of my favorite actors that nobody has heard of, in an entirely disposable and expository role. Still, he was both a McPoyle on Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia and Mary the criminologist on Psych for fuck's sake. Love that guy. Anyway this movie sucks. My suggestion, Youtube the James Franco scene, which compels me to give this 5/10 even though I really don't want to, and save yourself 7.50.