In Date Night, the romantic comedy/action-adventure film, a self-proclaimed boring couple from New Jersey gain incentive to revive romance after their closest friends decide to split because they've become "excellent roommates" who "know each other too well."
The protagonists Phil and Claire Foster, played by Steve Carell and Tina Fey, also come to realize there are no surprises in their ho-hum marriage, in spite of their efforts to keep things fresh with a weekly date night.
Sadly, there's nothing fresh about Fosters date nights. They go to the same restaurant, eat the same meals and invent stale stories about the romantic status of couples at surrounding tables.
There's nothing refreshing about the Fosters' daily routines, waking before dawn to launch two young children into their school day and being exhausted by their day jobs, Claire as a broker hawking bargain basement mansions and Phil as a tax lawyer advising a sexy young couple to open an IRA with their tax refunds instead of blowing it on a vacation to make love on the beach.
Phil wisely senses that a reckless romance might be the antidote to their fading sex life and lackluster routines. So he shakes things up on their weekly date night by suggesting an impromptu dinner in Manhattan.
The Fosters dress up and drive an hour to reach the hot new restaurant where there's no chance of getting a table without making reservations a month in advance. When Phil hears that the Tripplehorns are a no-show for dinner, he happily hoists their identity to get their table.
The Fosters eagerly shed their old skin and savor one night of feeling new, where they don't talk about their kids or their deadlines for the coming week. As a dating and relationship coach, I often advise couples to try this at home--as a way to revive romance and spark surprises that boost excitement and fun. Fortunately for real-life couples, this scenario rarely produces risky plot twists that propel the comedic action-adventure film toward its romantic climax.
In Date Night, the Fosters are mistaken for the Tripplehorns--blackmailers who stole a flash-drive with incriminating info on the sleazy District Attorney--a powerful mobster (beefy Ray Liotta) assigns two corrupt cops to get back the flash drive and keep the D.A. under his thumb.
How does Date Night differ from the typical action-adventure film?
We identify with this average couple, endearingly portrayed by Tina and Steve; and we care what happens to them and their family life.
Claire Foster is a once successful real estate broker who recruits a sexy former NY client and renowned security expert (shirtless Mark Wahlberg) to help them clear up this mix up. Can they elude the corrupt cops and find the real Tripplehorns? Can they return the flash drive and go back to their cozy life in New Jersey?
The audience was rowdy with laughter while rooting for these unlikely action heroes to fulfill their mission and rescue their relationship as a bonus. Every couple could take the pulse of your relationship when you ask yourselves some key questions found in the film's climax:
"Would you do it again? You, me, the kids, all of it? Would you choose us again?"
If you can answer a whole-hearted YES, then you're already doing what it takes to spark a lasting fire of love with your partner.
What if your hum-drum relationship needs a romantic rescue like the Fosters in the film?
Consider some rescue techniques that might've helped the Fosters and then decide what might help you:
* Wait till your relationship is on the brink of a break up before you shake things up with romantic surprises?
* Show an interest in your partner's activities as a way to show support and deepen intimacy?
* Compliment your partner for dressing up or making you feel special?
* Give each other freedom to break old habits and build new talents?
* Do a little role playing and make love outside or in new positions to keep things fresh?
* Pose as an erotic dancer and devise a pole-dancing routine to rev up romance?
* Maintain a sense of mystery in your bathroom rituals, to protect your partner from unattractive gas or slobbering mouth guards?
* Find new ways to light up for each other, especially when duties and deadlines deplete your energy?
* Work together as a team to resolve solve life's toughest challenges?
* Help your partner plan a weekly date night where you're free to try something new and no one depends on you for anything but romantic fun?
Romantic fun and frequent laughter is what you'll experience while you watch Tina Fey and Steve Carell free their inner love hero--who's waiting to be uncovered inside each of us. Bravo to 20th Century Fox for inspiring couples to see your mate with new loving eyes during your own Date Nights.
And you'll get smart love tips in hundreds of my articles, radio shows and novel with songs, TRIBE OF BLONDES, available at http://tribeofblondes.com
Not a hair color, it's a resilient optimistic spirit that unites us, helps us overcome challenges and create happy relationships.