Sunday, August 15, 2010

DVD Review: 'Date Night'

It was an all-too-familiar scene: Exhausted parents collapsing at the end of a long day; kids leaping on their parents at the crack of crack in the morning; and the infamous countdown.

You know the one. "I'm going to count to 3, and if you don't (insert dreaded kid task here), I'm going to (insert vastly unfair punishment here)."

I've used that many a time, but this time it was coming out of the mouth of arguably America's most famous modern female comic talent Tina Fey in "Date Night." Throw in the equally famous and inspired Steve Carell, and you have a match made in comedy heaven.

Ian and I watched the August 10th-released DVD ($29.98), courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, on Friday the 13th, and it seemed strangely appropriate. After all, we were parents home on a Friday night, watching a movie instead of hitting the L.A. nightlife scene while our daughter was asleep in her room -- something Phil and Claire Foster (aka Steve and Tina) could no doubt identify with.

"Date Night" is the story of the Fosters' attempt to add some much-needed romance into their marriage by leaving the 'burbs of New Jersey to have dinner at the newly opened Manhattan restaurant Claw -- but without a reservation. A definite no-no at this snooty eatery. When Phil decides to take someone else's reservation -- and they are then mistaken for the other couple -- their romantic evening turns into a comedic nightmare.

Directed by Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum," the sequel of which I wrote about here), the movie is fun and really spotlights the talents of its two stars. And while a lot of the action and situations tend to strain credulity, viewers can delight in how well Carell and Fey work together. (Please pair up again, guys. Seriously.)

The DVD offers a lot of fun extras (even more on the $39.99 Blu-ray edition), including a gag reel, "Date Night" PSAs from Carell and Fey, as well as Levy's signature "Directing" series, which gives viewers an entertaining and informative glimpse at how movies get made.

A definite date-night movie pick for tired parents who aren't otherwise engaged in rocking out at exclusive restaurants or hipster clubs.

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