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Laramie Movie Scope:
Date Night

A wild night on the town

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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July 22, 2010 -- This is one of those romantic comedies reminiscent of Neil Simon's “The Out of Towners,” but updated for today's audience. Two suburbanites whose best friends are separating fear that their own marriage is growing stagnant. They decide to do something different for their date night, and it leads to a whole lot of trouble with organized crime figures, crooked cops and crooked politicians.

Steve Carrell (“Get Smart”) and Tina Fey (“The Invention of Lying”) star as out of towners in big trouble in New York City, Phil and Claire Foster. Their trouble starts off right away on their big night out as they can't get a table at a very fancy restaurant. When another couple with a reservation, the Tripplehorns, doesn't show, Phil and Claire claim to be the Tripplehorns and steal their reservation. Mistaken for the Tripplehorns, they land in big trouble. It turns out the Tripplehorns stole some incriminating evidence from an organized crime figure. The evidence on the stolen flash drive is damaging to a crooked politician who has ties to the police department. Two crooked cops are in pursuit of Phil and Claire.

On the run, Phil and Claire can't trust the cops. They decide their only chance is to find the flash drive and clear their names. Claire, a real estate agent, remembers the name of a former client, Holbrooke Grant, (played by Mark Wahlberg of “The Departed”) who might be able to locate the Tripplehorns. Using the contact number from the restaurant, Holbrooke is able to use the GPS locator in the cell phone to locate the two crooks. Phil becomes jealous of Holbrooke, who goes shirtless all the time. He notices his wife noticing Holbrook's well-toned muscles and ripped abs. He understands why his wife remembered Holbrooke's name. While on the run from the bad guys (in Holbrooke's car that Phil stole) they argue about Holbrooke.

They finally catch up with the Tripplehorns, whose names are really Taste and Whippit (James Franco of “Pineapple Express” and Mila Kunis of “The Book of Eli”). Taste is a drug dealer and Whippit a stripper. Phil and Claire finally get the flash drive from Taste and Whippit after the two crooks have a massive argument. It turns out Taste and Whippit are having the same kinds of marriage problems as Phil and Claire. Chased by the crooked cops, they crash Holbrooke's car into a taxi. The two cars, stuck together are involved in a wild chase with a number of cop cars in pursuit.

Phil comes up with a risky plan to get them out of trouble, but they need Holbrooke's help to pull it off. That won't be easy. After all, they stole and wrecked Holbrooke's car and and blew up his antique gun. The resulting confrontation between Holbrooke and Phil is very funny. The film breezes along quickly. The dialog is witty and the characters are bright and funny. The film's ending is wildly improbable, but works well enough since this film doesn't take itself seriously. It rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff. I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2010 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at my last name at lariat dot org. [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]

(If you e-mail me with a question about this or any other movie or review, please mention the name of the movie you are asking the question about, otherwise I may have no way of knowing which film you are referring to)