By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal
Let me start by saying I had a fine time watching “Date Night.”
It wasn’t the laugh-out-loud experience I was expecting, but I had fun. I’ll probably watch it again on cable in a couple of years. It’s a good way to spend an afternoon.
But here’s the thing: The two stars of “Date Night” have been far funnier on television than they are in this movie.
In promoting the flick last week, Steve Carell took a chair at “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” There’s not a single five-minute burst of entertainment in “Date Night” that can compare with the hilarity of the five-minute interview on Comedy Central.
One day after “Date Night” opened, Tina Fey hosted “Saturday Night Live,” where she used to be a cast member and head writer. It easily was the funniest “SNL” of the 2009-10 season, and it out-paced the joke ratio in “Date Night.”
On the plus side, Carell and Fey are an engaging comedy team as Phil and Claire Foster, a couple who think the excitement has gone out of their marriage.
They go to New York City for dinner, where there’s a case of mistaken identity, then comedy and gunshots ensue.
Mark Wahlberg is featured heavily as an intelligence operative who sends thrills up and down Claire’s spine, much to the dismay of her husband. Mila Kunis and James Franco are showcased as a pair of lowlifes who love each other.
The rest of the supporting cast, including Ray Liotta, Kristen Wiig and Mark Ruffalo, aren’t asked to do much. Maybe some stuff was left on the cutting room floor. Who knows?
Again, “Date Night” isn’t horrible by any stretch. But there was plenty of comedic talent attached to the movie, and I expected more laughs.
I give “Date Night” a B.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives “Date Night” an A. “I thoroughly enjoyed this move. I will own it.”