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Date Night movie poster

Date Night: Movie Review

Action, Comedy
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Mark Ruffalo, James Franco, Leighton Meester, Olivia Munn, Kristen Wiig
Released by: 20th Century Fox

In Short: Few laughs and a fish-out-of-water story that has been done before (and better) make “Date Night” a bad reason to leave the kids at home to go out to the movies.

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“Date Night” Makes You Wish You’d Stayed Home

If Tina Fey makes you laugh every week on NBC-TV’s “30 Rock” and Steve Carell gives you the chuckles on that same network’s “The Office,” then beware of “Date Night.” Those two normally funny television stars have teamed up for that big-screen movie effort, with a less-than-amusing result.

The premise of “Date Night” is simple. Fey and Carell are a married couple with kids from New Jersey who decide to go on a date without the children. They head to New York City, can’t get a reservation at the city’s trendiest restaurant, and tell a little white lie to get a table. From that lie the “comedy” ensues.

Problem is, there are barely any laughs in this tepid flick. As the couple bumbles and fumbles their way across the big city, they encounter stupid criminals, tough mobsters and a shirtless (and buff) Mark Wahlberg. He is one of the highlights of the movie, despite the fact that pretty much all he does is look hot.

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in Date Night Mila Kunis and James Franco in Date Night

In the midst of all the fish-out-of-water dopiness, there’s one sequence that is just downright embarrassing. Fey dresses up as a stripper and Carell pretends to be her pimp as they infiltrate a strip club’s inner sanctum. Fey on a stripper pole is supposed to be funny, but instead it is just a little sad and definitely pathetic.

There’s one good scene in the film, as the pair crash an expensive car (that they have stolen) into a taxicab, then end up in a nutty car chase. So is that one scene worth the price of a babysitter and the movie tickets? Not even close. You’ll have more fun at home with a rental DVD of “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and a bowl of your own homemade popcorn.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

(Updated 04/09/10 CT)

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