A scary “Date Night” is fun for movie viewers

It's Tina Fey and Steve Carell on the run in New York City

| Apr 21, 2010

Tina Fey and Steve Carell in a scene from Date Night
Date Night is the perfect movie for married couples who have such rituals, but it should come with the following warning: “We’re professionals. Don’t try this when you leave home on your date night.”

Steve Carell and Tina Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, who live in New Jersey and who have the obligatory two young children. Phil is a tax accountant, Claire is a real-estate agent, and at the beginning of the movie we see what they do on a typical date night and their typical bedtime routine for discussing whether or not to have sex, both of which should be familiar and funny to couples in the audience.

hotshots-logoThen when they learn that two friends of theirs who are married to each other are going to break up, Phil and Claire decide to change their usual date night of dinner at a local restaurant and instead go to a fancy restaurant in New York City, even though they don’t have reservations, which normally have to be made a month in advance.

So, while they are waiting in the bar for a table to open up, Phil hears the hostess calling “Tripplehorn, party of two” more than once, decides that the Tripplehorns are a no-show, says to Claire, “I want this night to be different,” and announces to the hostess, “We are the Tripplehorns.”

Once they are seated, they toast “Here’s to a great night” with empty wine glasses, and then all hell breaks loose.

Two men show up at their table and want to talk to Phil and Claire outside in private. The Fosters assume that they have been “busted” for taking the Tripplehorns’ reservation, but, no, the two men believe that they are the Tripplehorns and demand that they turn over a flash drive to them, a small, portable drive for a computer.

And thus begins a “great night” of laughs for the audience and certainly a “different” night for Phil and Claire.

There is at least a double case of mistaken identity, blackmail involving a mob boss, a crooked politician, crooked policemen, a building break-in, a slow chase across the lake in Central Park, and one of the funniest car chases you will ever see.

Date Night is a date night from hell for the Fosters, but a great night for the audience.

I’m Dan Culberson and this is “Hotshots.”


“Hotshots” is a weekly movie review by Dan Culberson available on KGNU Community Radio (88.5 FM in Boulder and 1390 AM in Denver, on Filmchannel1, and on Boulder Reporter. Culberson has been reviewing films since 1972 for newspapers, magazines, radio and television.