Monday, August 10, 2009

Script Review: Date Night

Genre: Comedy/Action/Romance
Premise: A middle-aged couple trying to regain that spark they once had. What starts out as innocent fun turns into an action filled night they'll never forget. Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Mark Wahlberg, James Franco, Mila Kunis, Kristen Wiig, Common, and Taraji P. Henson are set to star.
Writer: Josh Klausner (Dated June 11, 2008)

Steve Carell's star turn.

Ok, let's get real. How often do ensemble comedies with so many big names actually turn out good? This year we had She's Just Not That Into You fail miserably. So did this script deserve so many big names to attach themselves? Was it really worth it?

First and foremost, I'll start out by saying I LOOOOVVVVEEEE the leads. The Office and 30 Rock are probably the only good shows on NBC right now. So I disregarded the hack of a director who's attached and moved this up on my script reading list. Honestly, I think I should have passed. Let's get into the plot real quick.

Phil and Clara Foster have reached that point in their marriage where a sex life in non-existent, their only thing in common is the fact that they share a kid, and there's not a day that goes by where they aren't at each others throats. They'd don't like this life, so they decide to try and reignite that spark. They're going to have one of those date nights they used to have so often. Well, things don't exactly work out as planned/ When they claim to be a couple known as the "Graces" to get a seat without waiting a lifetime, they are kidnapped and held at gunpoint. The rest of the script they are on the run, action and danger ensue.

I will say, this had a LOT more action than I was anticipating. That may be the only redeeming factor from this script. There are some very entertaining scenes. To bad this is supposed to be a comedy. Klausner throws in as many characters as possible, and none of them are funny. The attempt at witty banter between Phil and Clara is anything but, and simply boring. I assume they tried to get funny leads so their improv could save the movie. Hopefully they can.

Overall, the premise is pretty good, and there are some entertaining action scenes, but it lacked what every film in this genre needs: comedy. You can not write a comedy script and hope the leads can elevate it out of mediocrity. Hopefully with rewrites and the overall presence of Carell and Fey they can make the movie watching experience enjoyable. Until then, it's stuck with this grade.

[] Somebody should be fired
[] Bad
[x] Mediocre
[] Worth the read
[] Great
[] Amazing

Note to the readers: I'm trying to start a website here. I've noticed that many people just downloaded the Kick-Ass script and never posted their thoughts. I have no problem if you don't want to leave your own comments, but it seems to me a lot of you are just using the site to get the script, and not taking into consideration the amount of time I set aside to write up the review and supply you all with the link. I hope I'm wrong and you guys are taking this site seriously and not just using it to help enhance the quantity of your library. That said, the link to Date Night is in the comment section. Enjoy.


Josh Floyd said...

Script Link:

Anonymous said...

I really think this script is left bare, meaning the dialouge and character depth, will come through when this great cast is able to improvise on the spot.

But I agree. Mediocre.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone has the time to read the script right away, Josh. I like to grab the script before the link disappears, which often happens on these script review sites.

Josh Floyd said...

I realize that. That's why I said most people. There's a considerable difference in the amount of comments for Thor (which I did not supply a link for) than there are for Kick-Ass (which I did) Just something I observed, and as I stated, hopefully I'm wrong with my observation.

Anonymous said...

Y'know, I'd pass on reading this one simply because the premise itself sounds like it hits close to Couples Retreat and with the action is a more humorous take on True Lies.

It also sounds like they fell upon a hoary plot device: couple with troubles becomes couple IN trouble and the ordeal functions as a sort of intervention that brings them closer together and in the end stronger than when they started.

What would have made it better, and especially with this cast, is if Steve Carrell watched a movie (say, True Lies) and said, "That's it! I know what will save my marriage. I'll ask a couple of my idiot friends--that my wife doesn't know--to "kidnap" us, then I'll defeat them, she'll see me as her superhero, and this way I don't have to pay an egregious sum for therapy."

You can, of course, see how this plan can go horribly awry in about a dozen different places.

Putting a grade of mediocre on this means there's better time to be wasted watching NYC Prep.

-Jeff @ gmail

anthuswilliams said...

I am both trying to enhance the quality of my script library AND enjoying your reviews. I generally post my thoughts, but I don't have time to read the script right away. It's just an attempt to get the script early, before the link disappears, or worse, as in the case of Scott Pilgrim.

theblackpattern said...

I had it's charmer moments and few giggles, but the pacing was really screwy. I don't know how the 'danger' is going to play out after that big double-car-chase scene. Top notch cast though, I really don't see any flaws in casting. As as anon said, that cast could really shine this up. Thanks again, Josh.

button said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
button said...

They definately must have changed some things already. Most of the roles from these actors aren't even in the script:

From Reuters and Variety:

Wahlberg plays a successful and crazily buff securities expert who flirts with Fey's character. Franco portrays a not-too-bright conman and petty criminal. Meester is onboard as the couple's babysitter. Henson plays the one good cop who believes the couple is in danger, and Common portrays a villain. Wiig rounds out the cast as the actress' best friend.

Liotta will play Joe Miletto, whom Levy describes as a "villain of peace." Kunis will play the low-rent criminal wife of Franco's character. Ruffalo will play Wiig's husband and Carell's best friend.

Rebirth said...

I'd definetly agree with the mediocre rating. There is some funny bits to be found, but overall it just wasn't that great. The characters had no real depth and felt like cliches overall. However, with some reworking I imagine it could be better.

Purgurl said...

I really hoped this script would be something great, especially because they had two of the best TV comedy actors on board, but it just didn't render very many laughs from me. I hope that Carell and Fey's acting can eleviate it from mediocre, 'been there done it' to something more exciting!

Anonymous said...

Like most people here, i think the pacing was a little weird and the dialogue a little bland, but it is dated june 2008 so i am more than positive there were some changes made. Tina Fey and Steve Carell are great comediennes and Improvisers, so i have faith the movie will be ten times better.

p.s. I was wondering if there is a chance to get a hold of a recent script of Date Night??
I would like to see what changes they've made to this film.

Anonymous said...

I have trouble with these action-comedies. The action always winds up being awkward: should we laugh at Carrell or not? And this doesn't deliver on comedy. I'd love to see an updated or shooting draft too. I just can't imagine actors signing onto this based on the premise. It's been done consistently poorly usually not delivering on the action or the comedy. Also, the drama was awfully thin and it was never resolved. Where's the arc? What changed? Why should I believe that the couple won't slide back into their bitter relationship unless they have another encounter with the mob, dirty cops and politicians?

What do you all think would draw people to this script?

Anonymous said...

Just saw it at the cinema - the crowd enjoyed it and it certainly got some decent laughs, so I'm looking forward to seeing how different this script is compared to what made it to the screen.

The story wasn't brilliant, and plenty of character were only there to push things along, but I've seen worse films this year.

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