Date Night Should Have Been Titled “Two Sketch Comedians On The Town”

The 2010 movie Date Night was an interesting attempt at portraying a boring, middle aged, suburban couple caught in a comedic maelstrom of intrigue and adventure. Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that the writer (whose only other credits are a horror movie and two Shrek films) and actors (who obviously did a considerable amount of ad libbing) had no idea what an average married couple is like. Also, do suburban, middle-class couples seriously cuss that much? Even though Fey and Carell were completely non-believable as a suburban married couple, however, the movie would have been more consistent and quite a bit more believable if they had just done the more intellectually honest thing and made it a story about a married team of comedy writers and/or sketch comedians.

If they still wanted to do the traditional gender roles angle, I think what they should have been aiming for is something more like the vibe from the George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (radio or TV, they’re both about the same). In other words, yeah they’re a married couple with kids and a babysitter, but they’re also a pair of professional silly people with some actual reason for having all those outlandish skits and costume ideas ready in their minds.

Its flaws aside, it’s probably worth a watch for ardent fans of Fey and/or Carell who like it when lines characteristic of their other characters (e.g. Liz Lemon of 30 Rock) leak into the movie now and then.

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