Movie Review

Date Night also known as “Broken Date,” “Date Night—Gangster für eine Nacht,” “Notte folle a Manhattan”

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual and crude content throughout, language, some violence and a drug reference.

Reviewed by: Patty Moliterno
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Romance Comedy
Length:
1 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
2010
USA Release:
April 9, 2010 (wide—3,300+ theaters)
DVD: August 10, 2010
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Relevant Issues
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Sex, Love & Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Featuring: Ray Liotta (Joe Miletto), Steve Carell (Phil Foster), Tina Fey (Claire Foster), Mark Wahlberg (Holbrooke), Taraji P. Henson (Detective Arroyo), Jimmi Simpson (Armstrong), Common (Collins), William Fichtner (DA Frank Crenshaw), Leighton Meester (Katy), Kristen Wiig (Haley Sullivan), Mark Ruffalo (Brad Sullivan), James Franco (Taste), Mila Kunis (Whippit), Bill Burr (Detective Walsh), Jonathan Morgan Heit (Oliver Foster), Savannah Paige Rae (Charlotte Foster), Nick Kroll (Claw Maitre D'), Olivia Munn (Claw Hostess), Gal Gadot (Natanya), Lauren Weedman (Wendy), Darren Le Gallo (Teaneck Waiter), more »
Director: Shawn Levy
“Night at the Museum”
Producer: 21 Laps Entertainment, Media Magik Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr., Shawn Levy, Josh McLaglen, Tom McNulty, Billy Rosenberg
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Meet the Fosters. Claire (Tina Fey) and Phil (Steve Carell) play a typical married couple with 2 children. They both work, and after driving the kids around, cooking, cleaning, making lunches and all that goes into running a household, they both come home exhausted at the end of the evening. Phil participates in Claire’s all women book club. Once a week, they go on date night to the same restaurant and order the same food. When friends share with Claire and Phil they are divorcing due to boredom, both worry that maybe they are in headed in the same direction. They decide to do something a little different for date night.

Claire dresses up in a special dress and when Phil sees her, he decides to take her into the city for dinner. They arrive at the “Claw,” the new “need to make reservations a month before” restaurant. Of course, there is no way they will be seated without reservations, but Phil decides to pose as another couple and take their reservations. They become the Tripplehorns for the night. It turns out thugs are willing to kill to get a flash drive that the real Tripplehorns have stolen. The rest of their date night entails running from the police and thugs, and trying to find the Tripplehorns and recover the flash drive.

God’s name is taken in vain numerous times. There are many references to sexual situations, anal sex, sex with multiple people, body parts, nipple clamps, comments about where to have sex, etc. The f-word is said. Also, “mother f-er” and “f you” is spoken. Many other crude and profane words are said.

There is a scene in a strip club. Several times during the movie, women are shown scantily clad. Claire dresses as a stripper, and both Claire and Phil perform around a stripper pole. The dialogue they have during the stripper scene includes discussing whether they will have sex in front of the people present. Phil grinds against the floor and his wife.

“Sometimes you do stuff that you don’t want to do” is given as the explanation for why Phil is in a book study with his wife. While being chased, Claire tells Phil, “I don’t want the kids to live with your mother”. Phil and Claire break the law numerous times (breaking into a building, stealing a car, running from the police, etc.).

If you are offended by crude language and sexual suggestions, please do not see this movie.

Phil and Claire care enough about their marriage to try to work at maintaining it. You see a couple who truly cares about one another. Phil tells Claire, he would do it all over again—marriage, kids, her.

While the divorce rate (even among Christians) is high, studies have shown that among couples who pray together (only 5 minutes a day) the divorce rate drops to around 5%. You could “save” your marriage by taking that one simple step. Place your marriage in the hands of God and pray together daily.

What makes this movie work is exactly the thing many people may find offensive. An ordinary “boring” married couple finds themselves in a situation that is so far from their reality. They continue to interact with one another as an ordinary married couple through most of their encounters. One scene I found particularly funny was when Claire described her fantasy—being alone, eating alone and not being touched.

For most married couples, things become very routine, and that includes date night. I think that is mostly due to the fact that if you are paying a babysitter, you want to have a nice meal, good conversation, etc. My husband and I usually spend our date night in the same restaurant, ordering the same food, having almost the same conversation every time we go out. Many couples will identify with Claire and Phil.

I do cautiously recommend this movie, but only for adults, for which this film is aimed. On a moral scale, it is offensive, and many people will be upset by my recommendation. However, the shocking difference between a normal suburban couple and the seedy life of underworld figures is what makes Phil and Claire appreciate their “boring” life, and this is what makes this movie work. There were many teens in the theater that thought this was a funny movie, and laughed at the sexual humor. However, as my husband said to me, “they don’t even get most of this movie.” In the end, what most couples will find is that their “boring life” is pretty good after all.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—I agree with your reviewer that “Date Night,” an only for adults movie, is quite fun to watch. I laughed very hard in several places. It’s too bad that the story itself had so many salacious and silly elements. But all the bad guy stuff was couched within a story of a kind and loving couple that just wanted to have a fun night in the city and got into a terrible mess. The movie begins with this couple caring for each other, and ends with them caring even more for each other, and that emotion tempered the ridiculous criminal thematics. I laughed, for which I am grateful. But next time, I hope Steve Carell and Tina Fey pick a better screenplay.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Halyna, age 64 (USA)
Positive—I was very excited to see “Date Night,” because I am a huge Steve Carell fan. As I was entering the theater, some friends of mine were leaving and said it was a hilarious film which made me even more excited. And after watching it, I wasn’t disappointed. I haven’t laughed so hard in a very long time. While there are quite a bit of inappropriate sexual remarks, I took, most of them, as being in the context of a marriage that was becoming increasingly boring. A couple wanting to “spice up” there marriage life, so it didn’t bother me quite as much. There is also some profanity in it but not as much. I think the most disturbing part for me was when Claire and Phil were in the stripper’s club performing in front of other people. I thought it to be very unnecessary.

Overall, I think Steve Carell and Tina Fey work very well together as a loving, married couple who care for their kids and each other. I would definitely have to recommend this movie more for married couples as the reviewer said. Overall, very funny!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Kurt, age 19 (USA)
Positive— The bad first: offensive scenes and language throughout, and I DO NOT recommend for teens or singles, but, the good: it was HILARIOUS!!!… I have not laughed like this in YEARS!!! For hours after I left the theatre I was laughing, and I’m still laughing. Tina Fey and Steve Carrell play a committed married couple who are tested and win victoriously. The life of a Christian is just that, tested yet VICTORIOUS.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—KY, age 33 (USA)
Positive—I read the reviews on your site before going to see this movie, and we almost didn’t go. Since it was the dollar movie, we gave it a go. I was braced, because of the review I read. I kept waiting for all the offensive stuff to hit me, and it never really hit. Yes, there were some things said that I do not agree with. But it came in spurts, for most of the movie it was just funny. Tina and Phil were very funny together. I have seen more offensive stuff on cable channels where I had to change the channel. I am a mature Christian and believe I have good discernment. We have gotten up and walked out on offensive movies. This movie did not make us want to do that. It is ok to see this movie, not as offensive as it is being reviewed.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dwayne Pipkins, age 53 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I would have enjoyed this movie very much if it wasn’t for all the crass content. The crazy plotline was hilarious, and, of course, Steve Carell was funny. But as it is, I couldn’t recommend it.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Heather Park, age 18 (USA)
Negative
Negative—Like most things Hollywood, the trailers belie actual content. Great concept, ruined by language, filth, gutter, anatomic humor and sex. Should be a strong “R” rating. Save your money, absolutley not for kids. This was embarassing to me, and I was a cop and saw and heard it all.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dennis, age 56 (USA)
Negative—This movie was HORRIBLE in morals. I was expecting, by the previews, a much more family friendly, funnier, loving movie. I was shocked by what there was instead. A movie with numerous sexual scenes which include a strip club scene, various scenes that promote partying and “hooking up,” etc., etc. I could go on, sadly! But anyway, please AVOID this film. There are much better films out there I think would be a better choice, which includes “Diary of a Wimpy Kid,” among others. That was the best movie I have seen so far this year. If people keep throwing money at this kind of stuff, it will keep being made, pure and simple. Let’s show Hollywood we want something else, something better. And get Steve Carrell and Tina Fey in better movies! God has blessed them with GREAT comic talent, and they should be in much, much better films than this!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Cory, age 21 (USA)
Negative—Although this film had some offensive contents in it (namely, breaking the law, pre-martial sex, cursing, etc), I liked the idea of a film that presents an important aspect in marriage; closeness. Phil and Claire had the right idea of having a “date night” to get away from the real world for just one night. Phil and Claire made an effort to stay together not just for the sake of their kids or to not end up like their friends, but for each other. It’s too bad that this wonderful story was hampered down by objectionable content. Unfortunately, the film didn’t fare so well either; the only good aspect of “Date Night” were the comedic performances of Steve Carell (“The Office”) and Tina Fey (“SNL,” “30 Rock”). Both had excellent chemistry on-screen.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Shannon H., age 28 (USA)
Negative—Unfortunately, I did not check the moral rating before taking my wife and her family to see this movie. Be warned—this film contains many offensive suggestions and scenes. There are some humorous parts, but they were overshadowed by the offensive sexual content, as well as the profane swearing. I am ashamed that I suggested the movie in the first place.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Caspianstrider, age 35 (South Africa)
Negative—I saw “Baby Mama” with Tina Feye and thought this movie has got to be funny…I was WRONG! All the good laughs, and I mean all, where in the movie trailers. The movie was crude and all the so called humor was just crude name calling. The pole dance scene was outright stupid and morally had a lot of real pole dancers doing it “right” in the background. This movie isn’t just morally offensive it is offensive to anyone’s intelligence. What a waste of time, money and energy. It’s not even worth seeing as a rental if you expect to get a laugh.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 1½
—Debbie Smith, age 48 (USA)
Negative—I was excited to see this movie with my family, as the previews showed it to be a fun comedy for the family. I was very disappointed and upset to watch this with my husband and pre-teen daughter. There was an awful amount of sexual talk, as well as sexual scenes, and the strip club scene was disgusting and unnecessary for the movie (we skipped the scene when it started). I warn true Christ followers not to rent this movie, as the foul language and sex are not something any of us should watch, and I wish I had skipped this one.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: not applicable
—Teresa, age 30 (USA)
Movie Critics
…“Date Night” is funny because, against all odds, it is involving.…
—Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
…both performers are constrained by the drab formula demanded by long-form, big-screen entertainment.…
—A.O. Scott, The New York Times
…is like watching TV’s Saturday Night Live on steroids… “Date Night”’s plot becomes so wildly unbelievable that it’s exhausting to watch.
—Mary Draughon, Preview Family Movie and TV Review
…Stay for the outtakes – they’re improv delights, suggesting the movie that might have been if they had just left it all to Carell and Fey.…
—Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
…spoiled by too much foul language and too much crude sexual humor…
—Movieguide
…a product substantially inferior to the material routinely finessed by Carell and Fey, on their respective hit shows, into comic gold.…
—Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
Comments from non-viewers
Negative—We took a chance and took my 14 year old daughter to this one, big mistake. I do not know how the rating system works but PG-13 would lead one to believe that it would be ok.

The story line was great, and it was fun, except for some unnecessary language and innuendos, right up until the topless bar scene. Tina Fey made a comment at that point, and she was right, it was like the end times. I was offended, and when I looked over and saw my 14 year old covering her eyes, we left.

Next time, I will review the Christian Web sites and choose accordingly. It is sad that two otherwise funny actors have to lower there standards. This should be rated R, save your money.
—Craig, age 48 (USA)
Negative—I have not seen “Date Night,” and, therefore, am simply using the Moral Rating and Movie Making Quality cited by the reviewer. I only wish to express sadness that a Christian reviewer would recommend a movie that they personally find morally “Very Offensive.” I cannot possibly see how Christ would be honored or His people edified by the viewing of such a film. How is this letting one’s mind dwell on whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent or praise-worthy (Philippians 4:8)? Brothers and Sisters, “I entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which we have been called,” (Ephesians 4:1). Always.
—Pastor Mark, age 49 (USA)
Negative—I also have not seen this movie, and will not see it based on the review above. Is it possible to make a movie where the “heroes” are chased by thugs and bad guys and NOT be full of sexual situations, crude language and behaviors??? YES! “National Treasure” comes to mind, not to mention the hundreds of movies made in the golden days of movies where Hollywood actually had to think and be creative to get the point across. Please avoid this movie and send Hollywood a message!
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: ½
—JP, age 39 (USA)
Negative—I have not seen this movie and never intend to, based on the scenes and content described by the reviewer. I am extremely disappointed that this movie would be recommended to anybody with the moral rating it has. I am a married adult, but do not want to degrade my spirit and grieve God by watching the absolutely disgusting things described in this movie. Whether you are an adult, married or not, doesn’t make a difference when it comes to viewing sexual scenes or hearing bad language. Sin is sin. No Christian of any age should see a movie like this.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
—Brittany, age 18 (USA)
Negative—“Date Night” definitely had some tender moments that married couples will undoubtedly connect with in real ways! I appreciate the fact that marriage, parenting, and family were valued and represented in this movie as precious and worth preserving.

With that said, there is too much garbage to sift through to find the rare jewels of comedy and substance. If Jesus is your Lord and you are looking for some laughs or romantic encouragement there are better ways to achieve both. If you are fighting sin in order to draw close to God and preserve your marriage then Date Night will pose more pitfalls than offer rewards. Stay away from it.

For the Christian who is seeking a little romantic spark in their marriage watching the movie would be like a recovering alcoholic going to their favorite liquor store to buy bottled water. Sure, you will get the water that is good for you, but you will have to put yourself in a very compromising position to do it. Don’t be deceived by the PG-13 rating. It is clearly an R.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Kevin, age 31 (Zaire)
Comments from young people
Negative—I’ve made some hefty mistakes in my relatively short lifespan. Renting this movie was one of them.

My older sister and I had seen the trailer, and thought this looked like a fun, light-hearted Friday night popcorn flick. I can stomach a good romantic comedy every now and again (“The Lake House,” anyone?), and I really like Steve Carrel, so I thought, “Hey, why not? It’s only PG-13, right?” Oh, foolish me. I keep forgetting that movies are being released every week that are rated PG-13 when they should have a big fat R (another prime example of this is the new “Robin Hood” with Russel Crowe, though for different reasons than this movie).

I also keep forgetting that the editors of these movies are not above “cutting the trailer” in a way that ultimately deceives the viewer. Talk about bait-and-switch! Though “Date Night” had some genuine laugh-out-loud moments, and for once, Hollywood cranked out a movie that didn’t have a stale, over-done storyline, those relatively small factors cannot redeem this crass movie. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m willing to suspend a lot of my nitpicking tendencies when watching movies like this one, but there are some areas where I draw the line. I looked past all the suggestive dialogue and sexual themes of this movie, until there was this scene toward the end set in some sort of underground strip club. Not only was it intensely awkward to watch (Steve Carrel pole dancing? Really?), it was also really sleazy and (for a PG-13 rating) borderline explicit. I felt like I had to go take a shower after that. Ugh.

If you take one thing from my humble review, let it be this: “Date Night” had great potential. But the powers-that-be in Hollywood flushed it all down the toilet for the sake of a boatload of cheap, vulgar, and sexual sludge. Don’t waste your money on this. Go bowling instead. You’ll feel better that way, than if you squirmed through “Date Night.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: not applicable
—Nathan, age 17 (USA)
Positive—This was a really funny movie, in my opinion. I saw it with my girlfriend. She wanted a romantic movie but she said I got to pick, and this seemed funnier than “Letters to Juliet.” Also, it had Steve Carell in it and I am a big fan of him. I did not think the movie was that bad of a movie. Sure, it had some language and some sexual things in it but there was no nudity. The closest thing to nudity they had in the movie was in the strip club and people were still in bras and panties which is the same you’ll see if you go to the beach. And what PG-13 comedy movie are you gonna go see that doesn’t have language or sexual things in them?

Overall, I thought this was a hilarious movie and would recommend it to anyone 13 and up as the rating PG-13 says.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Jonathan, age 14 (USA)
Positive—I went and saw this movie last year when it first came out, and I really enjoyed it, it was a good laugh, after a bad day at school. Since my parents were going through a rough time with their marriage, it brightened my outlook when I saw that in the movie, Tina Fey and Steve Carrel (two excellent actors) are trying to save their marriage. From start to finish, I enjoyed this movie, and recently I watched again. Even though there’s foul language (which is plausible, because, I mean, come on, they are adults and wouldn’t you be a bit tense if you were in their situation?) the movie itself shows how important it was to keep their marriage from falling apart like their friends’. To anyone who gave a negative review, I urge you to watch it again. Ignore the language and the sex jokes and focus on the real message.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Bethany, age 15 (USA)