Saturday, April 10, 2010

Just Seen: Date Night

A fine comedy, NBC Comedy Thursday on the big screen. Date Night was written by Josh Klausner, a former Farrelly Brothers flunky and one of the 14 writers on the last Shrek movie. The plot is a cross between North By Northwest and After Hours, in which a perfectly nice couple, in a case of mistaken identity, are chased through Manhattan by bad guys. It all ends up being just a bit too much plot for a comedy, and as such one could plug pretty much any pair of actors in as the couple. Thank God Steve Carell and Tina Fey were. They both deliver lines with awe-inspiring comic timing: It's plain both work hard to bring as much funny as they can.

I can cite more positives, like the fact the film is only 88 minutes long. Can't remember a recent comedy that even tried to abide to Woody Allen's 89-minute rule. Mark Wahlberg's scenes are just great-- He's got a knack for comedy, and it would be a crime to put a shirt on him. I'd give a slight knock for Dean Semler's cinematography which, although it was in 2.35:1, was shot in digital, which gave some of the darker scenes a muddy look.

According to Variety, it seems to be leading in ticket sales, at least on Friday. It topped Clash of the Titans by almost a million. Let's hope it kicks some butt, old-school 2D style.

Viewing note: Seen at the Century Redwood City. We were surrounded by people who reflexively checked their cellphones every ten minutes or so. Yikes.

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