‘Date Night’ not date movie

David Wiens / Washburn Review

I imagine that the idea of casting Steve Carell and Tina Fey as the leading characters for a comedy was like the creation of Reese’s; something so natural that it makes a lot of people wonder why it took someone this long to put the two together. I also imagine that more people wound up wondering why the first movie where these two comedic powerhouses were put together had to be squandered on something like “Date Night.”

“Date Night” is the simple story of two fairly unremarkable, ordinary people who find themselves hurled into a wild situation and appear to be in way over their heads. (Incidentally, this seems to mirror writer Josh Klausner and director Shawn Levy’s situation getting to make this movie with the actors and budget they received.)

While the plot may be basic, a little corny and a bit unfocused, Carell and Fey make it work as best they can, which is difficult considering how many times a joke is passed over for another tiny habit or idiosyncrasy about the other that irritates them. The few good jokes that actually make it in do not even land that often, and the duo’s improvised one-liners make the scripted gags seem that much staler. The slew of cameos that litter the film, ranging from Mark Wahlberg and Ray Liotta to James Franco and Mila Kunis, also do wonders to help keep it afloat. Honestly, Carell and Fey probably got better laughs during their various interviews to advertise the movie than from the movie itself.

As I said, the collaborative efforts of the cast make “Date Night” mildly entertaining, but the movie only relates well to a single, or rather, married, demographic and stifles everything about itself that would have made it better.