"flashes of funny throughout indicate the comedic gem"
From director Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum 2), “Date Night” is a decently amusing film that is carried by Steve Carell and Tina Fey, who despite the predictable script and clichéd action sequences, make the film watchable because of their chemistry. They really are a perfectly matched couple/screen-duo.
The film really gets silly after pretending to be another couple who are no-shows at a swanky downtown restaurant as suddenly find themselves being chased by the mob and all manner of craziness unfolds - but for the sake of comedy, I suggest you forget about all that and just let the good times roll.
Mark Wahlberg’s chest is the best cameo - it's enlisted to help the Fosters escape their plight - delivered very tongue-in-cheek and the self-mockery works a treat. James Franco and Mila Kunis also deliver a great scene which was apparently 80% improvised and Carell's favorite scene to shoot.
With less interesting actors in the leads Date Night would have been a merely mediocre movie, but the flashes of funny throughout indicate the comedic gem that could have been with better direction and writing. Cling closely to those few great moments, let yourself laugh out loud without shame and Date Night may have the power to suck you in after all. It's not the film it could have been, but at its best moments, it'll do.