Starring Tina Fey, Steve Carrel, Mark Wahlberg
TMG Scale 7.0

The title of this film works because it is what it is-–a date night movie. Not a lot more mind you, but certainly worth your effort and time. This movie could have been a great, ten minute Saturday Night Live skit and made me roll out of my chair laughing. Instead, it was kneaded out like turning a giant Cinnabon into 88 minutes of Cini-minis. Thankfully, it stopped just minutes shy of being overcooked and TMG left feeling amused and satisfied. Only Jim Gaffigan could stretch out a food metaphor any longer without losing you completely. TMG yields.

Don’t expect belly laughs or knee slapping one liners but you will maintain a smile and a smirk for the duration. It works because the movie dishes out spoonfuls of married couple reality like a fine pastry chef serves up creme brulee. We know what to expect but we still nod and giggle when it is delivered. [TMG is now sure he ate too much while watching this movie.] This film is a somewhat of a variation of Fun with Dick and Jane. It has an almost cartoon caricature about it and more continuity flaws (perhaps intended) than the opening scenes of the Wizard of Oz. But it was a fun take on what happens when a husband and wife try a little too hard to step out for the night and break routine.

Steve Carell dispenses humor here much the way you appreciate a competent bank teller counting cash while Tina Fey really struts her stuff—and she has very good stuff to strut both comedically and physically. However, neither were a match for Mark Wahlberg who deserves the MVP for saving this comedy from obscurity. Wahlberg provided every woman in the theatre with both laughs and steamy dreams while gaining the admiration of every guy. That is no easy feat for any actor. Wahlberg did it all just by keeping his shirt off and maintaining a straight face.

As the preeminent kingpin commentator in the movie and radio industry, TMG gets invited to lavish movie openings. TMG enjoyed Date Night at Studio Movie Grill at Zona Rosa in Kansas City —–finally an upscale and relaxed film venue without popcorn and gum under every seat. TMG enjoyed great drinks and an awesome buffalo chicken pizza. The Studio Movie Grill, like AMC Cinema Suites and similar venues are all moving in the right direction for TMG. And it is about time movie fans have these nice choices.

TMG says to take your date to see Date Night. Go to a nice theatre like TMG does. Have a drink. “But for god’s sake, keep your shirt on” —leave that move to Mark Wahlberg.