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'Date Night': Comedy done right

By Matt Scotto, Supervising Editor

Tina Fey and Steve Carell, two big names in the world of modern comedy, have finally teamed up in the action-comedy "Date Night." Directed by Shawn Levy ("Night at the Museum," "The Pink Panther"), the star-studded film is an absolute must-see. Phil and Claire Foster (Carell and Fey) are just your average, New Jersey couple trying to overcome the everyday obstacles of any family in America. Their daily routine consists of caring for their children and dealing with their full-time jobs. When Phil decides to take Claire out for an extravagant date night in Manhattan, hilarity ensues. After entering, and basically getting rejected, at a trendy seafood restaurant, Phil and Claire take an absent couple's reservation. Taking someone else's reservation doesn't exactly work out for the Fosters as two hit men show up and mistake Phil and Claire for the Tripplehorns (played by James Franco and Mila Kunis), a couple with a flash drive that holds provocative information.

I won't spoil the movie, but I will say that Fey and Carell do a stellar job as Phil and Claire, and there is an abundance of laughs within every single scene of the film. This definitely is helped by the great supporting cast, which includes a buff Mark Wahlberg, Kristen Wiig, Taraji P. Henson and Ray Liotta. There's even a random cameo from "Gossip Girl's" Leighton Meester, as the Foster's dumb babysitter.

Although Levy's list of directorial attempts does not exactly consist of Oscar-winners, he definitely knows how to formulate a decent comedy. "Date Night" goes above and beyond, which is mostly due to the cast. It is blatantly obvious that Fey and Carell added their own brand of humor into the story and that's what gives the movie its sparkle. Although the story and many of the situations the Fosters find themselves in are extremely farfetched and borderline silly, the dialogue is top-notch, with kudos given to writer Josh Klausner ("Shrek the Third," "Shrek Forever After"). At 88 minutes, the film is the perfect length for this type of comedy without overdoing it (we're talking to you, "Funny People").

One real problem with today's comedies is that they take themselves too seriously, and wind up not being funny. "Date Night" knows its ridiculousness, and even amps it up a notch. Don't forget to stay during the credits for some bloopers that will leave you on the floor laughing. This is old-school screwball comedy at its best.

Tina Fey and Steve Carell frantically call the babysitter when their night on the town takes a wrong turn in “Date Night” (Photo Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)

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