Monday, April 5, 2010

"Date Night," The Action Movie?

This Friday, the Tina Fey-Steve Carrell-helmed movie Date Night finally hits theaters. (Or theatres, if you're classy and/or English.)

Now, as I'm sure you know, I'm a huge Tina Fey fan. So it's not really a matter of whether or not I will see this movie. It's more a matter of whether or not I will enjoy it.

Ages ago, the only details we had about the film were the two leads and the premise: a man and woman's date night goes awry. Everyone, including me, immediately thought: Michael Scott and Liz Lemon on a date! It'll be awkward! There will be pratfalls and miscommunications! They'll be goofy and relatable!

Then the trailer was released, and we were all proved wrong. Or at least, misguided. This is... an action movie? Complete with a car chase, mobsters, gunfire, and black ops security?

It turns out the date night goes awry when Phil and Claire Foster pretend to be "the Triplehorns" at a fancy restaurant to get their reservation... but little do they know some mob boss wants the Triplehorns dead. Cue hijinx!

Now that I'm over my bewilderment, I'm going to say it: I'm optimistic about this "action movie" premise. Because there's your comedy right there. It's Tina Fey and Steve Carell. In an action movie. They're unconventional leads even for a rom-com, so why not be self-aware and turn it on its ear? What's even better is the people you'd most likely see in an action movie (a shirtless Mark Wahlberg, a strung-out-looking Mila Kunis, and a scruffy James Franco) are the supporting cast, making the two leads look even more out of place.

Hopefully, this won't be the only thing the movie has going for it. Nobody likes a one-trick pony, even if it's got Tina Fey and Steve Carell in the saddle. But I think it will be entertaining, if not a revelatory film that's going to make the Oscar rounds. Tina Fey's funny, Steve Carell's funny, and watching them try and blunder their way through all of the high-stakes conventions of an action movie is bound to be good fun. Who's with me?

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