After a short yet intense bout of 30 Rock fever, I found myself in need of another Tina Fey fix which led me to revisit this older title featuring Steve Carrell and herself. It’s by no means an amazing film and to be honest, one of the best lines is an ad-libbed outtake which features in the closing credits but it is still a fun, family-friendly action comedy.
The story follows Phil (Carrell) and Claire (Fey), a moderately contented couple (with children) who find the daily grind that is family and work has pushed their love life into near non-existence. Sure they have regular “date nights” for themselves but the impetus to make them work have all but left the building.
The film drops into gear when they (against all logic and reason) choose to pursue this particular evening for all it’s worth – the way they would have done things back when they first met. They start with going to a fancy restaurant where unbeknownst to the pair; you can’t just waltz in and get a table. Without a reservation, they wait it out in the bar area in the vain hope that perhaps someone else will cancel.
It’s here that Phil takes advantage of a reservation no-show by claiming to be the name that has been called out so they can sit down to eat at this table reserved for someone else. Everything works out fine until they are approached by some serious types who escort them from the restaurant.
Thinking the serious types are management, our couple try to explain their way out of the situation but soon realise that it won’t happen as these guys are thugs who have mistaken them for the people who’s table they stole.Anyway, the danger and the plot escalates from there as the pair bumble their way from one dangerous situation to another with many cases of mistaken identity and Mark Wahlberg.
There’s a brilliant car chase involving JB Smoove (Curb Your Enthusiasm) and the action/comedy dynamic will keep you interested until the final scene which wraps itself up in a neatly crafted Hollywood script type way.
You don’t need to think with this one but sometimes you don’t want to. It’s a decent all-rounder for when you need to entertain a handful of people.