I Saw That!

One woman's opinions about popular entertainment.

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Location: Chicago, Illinois, United States

Amateur boxing coach, Christian (but not so heavenly-minded that I'm no earthly good) singer, writer, self-defense advocate, childfree. feminist www.smartwomenboxingtraining.org

Monday, April 12, 2010

Date Night (1010)

Phil and Claire Foster (Steve Carell, Tina Fey) are an average New Jersey suburban couple with two kids.  They have fallen into the same old, same old as far as ther married life is concerned.  When they learn that friends of there have decided to divorce, it shakes them up.  Phil decides that their regular date night -- which has become predictable and humdrum -- needs some thing to perk it up.  He takes her to a fancy new restaurant in Manhattan.

A couple of tough types named Armstrong and Collins (Jimmi Sampston, Common) order the couple out to alley in the back of the restaurant.  They think they are the Tripplehorns (James Franco, Mila Kunis), a couple who has a flash drive with very damaging information.  The Fosters had pretended to be the Tripplehorns when the latter couple did not show up for their reservation at the fancy dancy restaurant.  The two men pull guns on the Fosters, who manage somehow to escape being shot.  When they complain to Det. Arroyo (Taraji P. Henson) NY Police, they spot Armstrong and Collins and figure out they are dirty cops in the back pocket of a gangster (Ray Liotta).  Things get worse for the Fosters from that point. 

There wasn't a big audience in the theater at the time I went to see this movie.  A couple in the back row had a good time, falling out laughing through the entire film.  The rest of the audience, including me, found the story less than mildly humorous.  Mistaken identity plots have been done to death, as well as the variation of the fish-out-of-water storyline presented here.  It was not a good sign when the outtakes that ran at the beginning of the of the end credits and afterwards weren't that funny, either.  As one of the ushers commented after the last outtakes ran, "Now that was a waste of time."

Carell was a lot better in Get Smart (2008) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).  I haven't watched "Saturday Night Live" (1975-present) in years, so I can't speak on Tina Fey's work there; she was okay in this film.  Ray Liotta was in the classic gangster film Goodfellas (1990).  Taraji P. Henson is an Academy Award nominee for The Strange Case of Benjamin Button (2008).  Mark Walhberg spoofs his former identity as rapper Marky Mark in this film, and Common is actually better known as a rapper.

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Why Did I Get Married Too (2010)

The couples are back to go on their annual marriage retreat -- this time in the beautiful Bahamas -- and as usual, all is not well.  Marcus (Michael Jai White) who's now a sportscaster, and outspoken Angela (Tasha Smith) are still constantly arguing over trust and control issues.  Terry (Tyler Perry) has his suspicions about his attorney wife, Dianne (Sharon Leal).  Patricia (Janet Jackson) and Gavin (Malik Yoba) are experiencing tensions.  Troy (Lamman Rucker), who married Sheila (Jill Scott) in the last movie, is down because he's out of work.  Adding further drama to the mix is the re-appearance of Mike (Richard T. Jones), Sheila's ex-husband, who's making noises about missing her. 

It's very similar to the first film, with Angela and Marcus providing a lot of the comic relief, while the others follow the dramatic track.  Lou Gossett Jr. and Cicely Tyson have small roles as a long married couple who school the younger couples in how love works.  As promised in the trailer, one of the couples does not does not make it.  But unfortunately, the couples' relationships aren't dug into very deep.  I left after the credits wanting a better ending, which felt like it was rushed.  An actor, who is not credited, appears in the movie near the end.  I won't give away his identity, other than to say that most of the women in the theater audience screamed in delight when he appeared on the screen. 

Mr. Rucker appears on a Tyler Perry TV sitcom entitled, "Meet The Browns".  Mr. White has also appeared in numerous action movies, including Undisputed II:  Last Man Standing (2006). Roger Lodge, who used to host the dating reality show "Blind Date" (1998-2005), appears here as a nosy colleague of Marcus'.

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