Movie Review: Role Play (2023)
Synopsis: Hoping to add a little spice to their marriage, Dave and Emma Brackett take a break from their kids, check into a fancy Manhattan hotel and, using made-up names, pretend to be strangers meeting at the hotel bar. However, what Dave doesn't know is Emma is secretly an international assassin with a bounty on her head, something that throws their romantic evening and marriage into jeopardy when she is recognized by another assassin and his attempted blackmail ends in his death and her being exposed.
Review: It was way too cold out for my wife and I to have our own date night last night, so I figured "why not at least watch a movie about one." At first, I expected this to be a movie that was similar to other comedies like Date Night and Game Night. As it turns out, it was nothing like those and wound up being surprisingly entertaining as a result.
First of all, I'll start out by saying this movie is misclassified as a comedy. I didn't think that description fit it at all. I could tell there were attempts to keep it light-hearted, but it felt much more like a drama and maybe even more as a thriller than it would be a comedy. That said, I think that worked in the movie's favor.
I think the thing that really won me over with this film was it asked a very hard question - "what would you do if you found out your spouse wasn't who you thought they were?" In Dave's (Oyelowo) case, he had to come to grips with the fact the woman he was hopelessly in love with and was a great mom and stepmom, also happened to kill people for money, in part to pay the expense of keeping their family safe. On the flip side, Emma (Cuoco) had to come to grips with the fact she would never be able to have a normal life and try to find a balance between being with her family and keeping them out of danger. It was a love story but with a somewhat complicated twist.
In other words, it wasn't the type of story that made the whole comedy thing work but it did make me think a bit and there certainly was some real emotion at times.
I wasn't a huge fan of the ending. I thought it seemed rushed at times and ultimately left open quite a few loose ends (it wasn't as though the bad guys were the only ones who knew about Emma's past). Plus, the idea of all of it happening without the kids figuring out something was wrong seemed a bit farfetched (maybe the younger kid could be fooled, but certainly not the older one). However, I will admit, the very ending scene involving the kids did make me chuckle. Not enough for me to call this a comedy, but enough for me to feel like it ended on a positive note.
Final Opinion: It's not a great movie and as I said, there are a few loose ends that aren't tied up, but it still proved to be entertaining. Just don't watch this expecting to have a lot of laughs.
My Grade: B-