REVIEW: Date Night

26 04 2010

The stars in comedy heaven lined up and brought together the two of the funniest people in the sitcom galaxy, Steve Carell and Tina Fey, for an on-screen outing in “Date Night.”  It feels strangely like watching an episode of “Saturday Night Live” nowadays: incredibly potent actors trudging through material that doesn’t deserve their comedic talents.

But once you can put that issue to rest, what you are left with is a reminder of the power of the actor.  It takes extraordinary expertise to entertain an audience with poor writing, and Carell and Fey emerge from the ashes looking like heroes.  Honestly, these two could read off the entire health care bill and have one of the highest grossing movies at the box office.

It’s amazing to watch these two comedians play off of each other.  Together, they put their own unique spin on some dry lines and injecting some much-need humor into them while managing to turn lackluster repeated gags into hilarity.  “Date Night” is all about them; the movie’s best moments are when it turns off the roaring plot engine and lets them take the wheel.

For those of you who nitpick at actors playing the same role over and over again, you could potentially scoff at the stars.  There are plenty of moments where we catch glimpses of Michael Scott and Liz Lemon.  But as a fan of both “The Office” and “30 Rock,” I see absolutely no problem with that.  There’s a reason why these are two of the highest profile characters on television, and it’s not a bad thing to see these two actors incorporating a little bit of what they do best.  “Date Night” is no day at Dunder-Mifflin or TGS; it’s two average people like Michael and Liz thrown into outrageous circumstances beyond their control.  As much as we might not want to admit it, there’s a little bit of each of those characters in all of us, and Carell and Fey have to channel a little bit of their small screen personas to make us care what happens to the Fosters on the big screen.

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