A romantic comedy with action, edge and genuine chemistry between its leads, "Date Night" scores a home run. As a suburban couple whose evening out goes disastrously wrong, setting off a boisterous Gotham pursuit, Steve Carell and Tina Fey are ideally suited both to each other and to the material. Helmer Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum") tempers his customary flair for action with an unexpected capacity for warmth, making an uncommonly engaging date movie that should also score at the box office.
From their deadpan comedic styles to their brunet good looks, Fey and Carell are so well matched it seems almost inconceivable that this is their first onscreen pairing. As Phil and Claire Foster, a couple whose marriage is overrun by the demands of their energetic kids and their exhausting work schedules, they're like your neighbors. And in a sense, they are, having been in most of our homes already: Currently fronting two of NBC's workplace sitcoms, Carell ("The Office") and Fey ("30 Rock") both benefit from the audience's familiarity with their personae.
So when they discover that their good friends Haley and Brad (Kristen Wiig, Mark Ruffalo) are splitting up, largely out of boredom, Phil and Claire decide to take a night out to rekindle their romance. Arriving at the absurdly elitist eatery Claw, they're told they have no chance of a table; when another couple fail to arrive for their scheduled slot, Phil spontaneously opts to assume their name -- the Tripplehorns -- and snag their table.
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