Live Action (Short Subject) Nominees

Date Night

If you’re a couple enjoying a rare date night, don’t waste your time (and money) on this movie, unless you’re too tired to care that it’s pretty boring. Date Night will make for a harmless time killer on an airplane or on the small screen soon enough. But as a feature film, it’s really weak, despite the general likeability of its stars, Tina Fey and Steve Carrell.

Fey and Carrell play Claire and Phil Foster, a sweet but boring mom and dad whose attempt at a romantic date night takes an adventurous and dangerous turn when they ‘steal’ a dinner reservation belonging to a couple of no-shows at a fancy New York restaurant. The little white lie leads to a major case of mistaken identity that involves the mob, the cops, an oft-shirtless Mark Wahlberg, and the token big city car chase.

The movie has several flashes of funny, but it lacks the character interactions and story development that make other married-couple-action movies like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and True Lies a lot more engaging and entertaining. Date Night reminds me a lot of the 1987 flick Adventures in Babysitting, about a babysitter who spends the night battling bad guys in the big city, with her charges in tow. Date Night shares a similar vibe, but lacks the tension and drama that made Adventures a pleasant surprise. Date Night is just pleasantly boring… or is it boringly pleasant? Either way, I say skip it.

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