Date Night Directed by: Shawn Levy Written by: Josh Klausner Starring: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, and Tariji P. Henson
Modern comedy is often found in the silence, not the punchline. It’s usually the uttering of a few colorful adjectives followed by an awkward stammer or glare. When done right, on TV shows like The Office and 30 Rock, it is hilarious. Date Night plucks its two stars from those two modern TV milestones to try and inject a little bit of comedic energy into a script much in need of it.
Steve Carell and Tina Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, a self-proclaimed boring suburban couple. They are comatose, floating around like a slapstick version of the Burnham family from American Beauty. Then, thanks to some blatant plot doctoring, they are forced on a life-or-death journey into a New York that is oozing with corruption and filled with vermin played by famous actors.
Dinner for Schmucks Directed by: Jay Roach Written by: David Guion & Michael Handelman Starring: Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, and Jemaine Clement
The mainstream American comedy is in trouble. Like the America pre-economic meltdown, it’s been lulled into a state of laziness. Audiences are being tricked into the same movie over and over again by slick, money-grubbing studio executives, not unlike those bankers and brokers. And so here we are with Dinner for Schmucks, the latest comic swindler from the modern studio system.
At the helm, if it even matters, is director Jay Roach, who previously brought us Meet the Parents, a funny if not overwhelmingly original movie with a diverse cast that drew in a lot of different people. With this movie, we get the inevitable pairing of Steve Carell and Paul Rudd, who first worked together on the 40 Year Old Virgin.