Director: Shawn Levy
Cast: Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg. James France, Mila Kunis, Ray Liotta
Synopsis: Phil and Claire Foster are a middle-aged married coule leading busy lives both working and raising their children. They decide a night out at a fancy restaurant will revive the spark in their relationship, however as they neglected to make a booking they are unable to get a table. When the reservation f0r Triplehorn goes unanswered, the Fosters steal the booking. This backfires though, when they are mistaken for the Triplehorns, who have been involved in some shady dealings.
A review by Film Nerd.
I do enjoy a good comedy, despite it not being one of the first genres I would generally go and see. I went along to this one as future contributor Bride of Film Nerd wished to go (and I believe she will be posting her own review for all the comedy fans). Thankfully I can report that this is a good comedy. Pratfalls get a bit much after a while in many comedies, often a sign there is little more intelligence on offer. But this is a comedy with heart and real chemistry between its leads, putting it a step above.
Carell and Fey are two of the most intelligent comics of the American small screen at this time, Carell with the American “The Office” and Fey with “30 Rock”. So putting them together in one film could have either been inspired or the work of a studi seeing the commercial benefits. But the result was indeed the former. They do not overplay the role of weary couple, there are no out of place outbursts or breakdowns at the start of the film. They do display a more naturalistic scenario of the affection is still there, they are able to share a joke and wearily do favours for each other, but life is little more than routine.
So the ante is upped, mistaken identity has them on the run from the criminals and from the law alike, and yes, it does lead to some ridiculous situations. Thankfully, rarely does it feel like it stretches credibility, and where it does, you are normally laughing to hard to care about that anyway. Of special note was a new take on the classic car chase sequence. Rarely do I apply the term side splitting to moments in film comedy, but this one certainly applies.
The other minor roles are performed well. Franco and Kunis get great mileage out of very small roles, Franco’s skill for comedy once again on great display after his original break from more dramatic roles with Pineapple Express. In addition, Wahlberg’s chest is a character all on it’s own! Add a well recognised gangster actor in the role of mob boss, you can ask little more.
My review of this piece is biased. Bride of Fim Nerd and myself shared many a sidelong glance that indicated “Hell, that could be us one day!” It doesn’t help that before seeing the fil we also have ourselves a weekly date night just like the couple on screen. That said, I feel the film will appeal to a wide audience, and I highly recommend it.
4 stars (out of a possible 5)