Why 'Date Night' Isn't Really a Date Movie
By Mike Ryan Posted Apr 9th 2010 02:30PM
First and foremost, 'Date Night,' oddly enough, would be better off seen as part of a guys night out. Think more Carell's 'Get Smart' than Fey's 'Baby Mama.' Of course, envisioning a group of brahs approaching the ticket window requesting, "seven for 'Date Night,' please" -- though funny, it seems unlikely. On the surface, it looks like a romantic comedy, of sorts. In reality, especially in the above date scenario, he might as well have taken her to see 'Clash of the Titans.' At least we know that's an action film -- an action film with significantly less gunfire (but, alas, more CGI decapitations).
Mike from 'Jersey Shore' has nothing on Mark Wahlberg. And to be fair to The Situation, he at least sometimes actually wears a shirt. Wahlberg has about 20 minutes of screen time, yet spends zero of those minutes clothed from the waist up. Yes, it's a running joke and, yes, it's funny. Though, what guy wants to be on a date and even take the chance of a comparison between Wahlberg's physique and his own. Why not just cut out the middle man and take your date straight to a Chippendales show while whispering in her ear, "See honey, that's what a real man looks like." Nobody needs that kind of pressure. Ever.
Yes, it's a movie. And, yes, unrealistic things happen in movies. Though the transformation of Carell's character from tax accountant to some kind of espionage spy that knows how to fire a gun is hard not to notice. Now, in the film, it makes for good fun. But, in reality, if this mild-mannered suburban dad can step up to the challenge of attempting to bring down a New York Mafia kingpin, why couldn't your sorry ass change a flat tire earlier?
'Date Night' starts out as a statement on mundane suburban life. Tina Fey's Claire is not a happy woman. No, she would never leave Carell's Phil for another man, but she has considered leaving him for an empty hotel room and a Diet Sprite. This is a couple that, for all intents and purposes, gets along quite amicably but, deep down, are quite miserable with their lives. On a first date would you really want those thoughts creeping through the brain? "Could that happen to us?" "He/She seems nice ... but is that our future?" Well, yeah, it probably is your future ... but there's no need to think about that now! It's your first date! Maybe see something less honest about your future like, 'Why Did I Get Married, Too?' instead. On second thought...
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