The perfect couple. 'The Office's Steve Carell and '30 Rock' creator and star Tina Fey have each provided millions with the best medicine as they sit around after the grind of work/no work. So if ever a movie made you think that you'd leave the cinema happier than when you arrived it's their 'Date Night'. 'The Hangover' was last June - a class comedy is long overdue.
Carell and Fey play Phil and Claire Foster, a "boring couple from New Jersey" who have traded fascination for function in their married life and fail to take the time to recognise the qualities in each other because, well, there just isn't time.
'Date Night' for Phil and Claire consists of their usual at a local restaurant, a bit of people watching and then home to bed to think about all the things they have to do the next day.
When two of their close friends split, Phil and Claire realise that they too are changing from soulmates to roommates and that something needs to be done. The first step is to give their favourite Friday night haunt a miss and head into New York for dinner at the latest cooler-than-thou restaurant.
When they are blanked for a table Phil decides to chance his arm and takes the reservation of two people who can't be found at the bar. It's a brilliant plan until halfway through the main course when two men approach and ask them to step outside. Phil and Claire think they're in trouble about the table; when a gun is pointed in their faces they realise that it's a little more serious - and the babysitter's going to have to stay late.
There are two surprises here. The first, that it's taken so long to put Carell and Fey together in a film, is on your mind as you sit down in the seat. The second, that it's so disappointing, is with you all the way home. Very short and even shorter on standout laughs (the dreaded gag reel appears at the end), 'Date Night' doesn't do anything that 'After Hours' and 'Adventures in Babysitting' didn't do far, far better. Even two of the best in the business - and a star-studded but underused supporting cast - can only do so much with the weak script and why Fey and Carell signed up for this when they don't need the exposure and could've written far better themselves is very hard to understand.
You'll get more laughs at home in 30 minutes from the two of them separately than you'll get from nearly 90 of them together here.