By Charly SHELTON
Fall in love, get married, have kids, become a boring couple from New Jersey, pose as mobsters, run from real mobsters, save the day, fall in love all over again. This is the course for Phil (Steve Carrell) and Claire Foster (Tina Fey) when they try to shake things up and break out of their routines by stealing reservations at the swankiest new restaurant in New York. But the people they steal them from seem to be involved with the wrong crowd and when that crowd finds the Fosters, they are swept up in the whole mess that takes them through the wringer with dirty cops, strippers, fast cars, mobsters, and a very shirtless friend, Holbrooke (Mark Wahlberg). Overall, it is a good movie especially for date night (no pun intended.)
Steve Carrell is a shining star from The Daily Show and of course as branch manager Michael Scott on The Office and has successfully transitioned to film. It is the rare and incredibly talented actor who can walk the fine line between naive and stupid, but Carrell does it with a flourish that leaves many others in the dust. Michael Scott is inept, but Phil Foster is just a fish-out-of-water, and so he is played differently. Many actresses would be left by the wayside, not being able to keep up with his brand and intensity of comedy, but Tina Fey does every gag and pratfall that Carrell does, and she does it in heels.
Fey is from the Saturday Night Live school of comedy and she was the highlight of the show while she was there, matching comedic quick wits with the likes of Will Ferrell. Now on NBC’s 30 Rock she has to keep up with Alec Baldwin, so she is no stranger to off-the-cuff one liners and insane hilarity, both scripted and improv. She works with Carrell so well. They were the absolute perfect pair cast for the leads in this film and whether or not the script was what they were using, or if they were just making up lines as they came, it turned out great. (Stay for the credits to see some of the impulsive lines that were left out of the film.)
A definite must see. Rated PG-13 for some language, sexual, and crude content. This is not one for the kids. Make it a date night – hire a sitter, see the movie, then steal some reservations of your own. Have fun.
I give this film 5 out of 5 stars.