In Date Night, married suburbanites Phil (Steve Carell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey) go for dinner in Manhattan and, through a series of predictably absurd twists, end up dodging thugs and crashing cars. This comedy-action hybrid doesn't win points for originality, but is saved—for some critics, just barely—by its talented and likeable stars.
- TIME calls this flick "a lively, often astute piece of marital sociology." This "cinematic happy hour for Mom and Dad" doesn't even "need a pulse to draw an audience," writes Mary Pols. Luckily, she says, it has one.
- Date Night succeeds as "popcorn entertainment" because Steve Carrell manages to "take a tired premise and make it so delicious, your gut hurts," writes Ramin Setoodeh on Newsweek.
- Fey and Carell turn predictable twists into "superbly absurd adventures," says Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal. Though the car chases are over-produced, the film is "too good to be wrecked by reckless driving."
- The New York Times, however, was not amused. "About that plot: who cares?" asks A.O Scott. Date Night is "superior to most recent movies of its kind, the marital action comedy," he writes. But frankly, "that's not saying much."
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