"Date Night" hits home for Tina Fey, Steve Carell

Tue Apr 6, 2010 9:34am EDT
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By Dana Ford

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Strip clubs? Crooked cops? A topless, muscled-up Mark Wahlberg? Not exactly typical date fare for a sweet couple from the suburbs, but for Tina Fey and Steve Carell, it seemed just about right.

The two comic actors star in upcoming movie "Date Night," opening across the United States on Friday, in which they play a married couple from New Jersey out for a romantic evening in New York City when events spin wildly out of control.

Fey, the creator and star of television comedy "30 Rock," and Carell, who has won legions of fans in TV's "The Office," said the premise of "Date Night" sounded familiar because they are not too different from their characters.

"The idea that it was a married couple, who are grown people, appealed to me because I felt like...that's what we are in real life," said Fey, 39.

She and Carell, 47, are both married, both have children and both said it was easy to empathize with their onscreen couple's struggle to stay connected to each other and to the world at large as they raise a family.

In fact, specialists in human behavior have long advised couples to carve out a chunk of time for themselves, leave the kids at home and hit the town. They say just being around each other probably isn't enough to keep a romantic fire burning.

Dr. Helen Fisher of Rutgers University, who has studied the effect of novelty on relationships, said what is needed sometimes is a night that shakes things up.

"Any kind of novelty, good or bad, drives up dopamine in the brain and can push you over the threshold toward feelings of romantic love," said Fisher. "So adventurous mishaps are certainly good triggers for feelings of romance."   Continued...

<p>Actors Tina Fey and Steve Carell gesture after they were slimed at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles March 27, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>