Tell us what YOU thought of "Love Guru" and "Get Smart"!

by Eric Melin on June 19, 2008

in Blogs

Well, Friday is here and no new review from myself and J.D. Despite the big comedy showdown happening this weekend between Mike Myers and Steve Carell, we could not see either of them this week. However, we did give away a ton of free advance screening passes to both movies! In other words, we haven’t seen ‘em but you have. Why not use this post as an opportunity to talk about them?

I told Cameron, the singer/guitarist from my band, that if he was so moved, he should write something for the site about “Get Smart.” He ended up going a tad overboard and writing a lot. At first, I was like, “Well, the site is just J.D. and I, so I have nowhere to put this.” But I thought better of that. We’ve been getting tons of great feedback from you all (the Scene-Stealers Army as I like to call you), and just because we didn’t see a movie doesn’t mean that you’re not curious as to what other sitegoers thought of it! So why not give you a page to talk about the movie(s), even if we couldn’t screen them this week?

Here’s your chance. Post away. Tell us what you thought about “The Love Guru” and “Get Smart.” After all, we’re all movieholics, and I want to know. Post away below!!! To get you started, here’s Cameron Hawk’s review of “Get Smart”:

get smart carell hathawayAny preview for a movie with Steve Carell these days is going to spark some hope in comedy lovers everywhere. Unfortunately, from early on in Get Smart, it becomes clear that the standard of the material does not match Carell’s comedic potential.

Control Analyst Maxwell Smart (Carell) harbors the lifelong dream of becoming a secret agent, and even though his test scores prove he would be an excellent one, the Chief of his division (an underused Alan Arkin) refuses to promote him simply because Max is too good at his current job. But after Control is broken into and ransacked (a situation that is barely explained and makes hardly any sense), the Chief all of a sudden decides to promote Max and sends him on his first mission with hottie Agent 99 (Hathaway).

This all happens in the first 20 minutes, and it’s the only real plot we get. The rest of the film relies mostly on bodily function-based gags, one-liners, fat jokes, and a few fun action sequences. The sad part is, it didn’t have to be this way. Right in the beginning, we get what would potentially be a great overall theme for the movie–that bad guys are bad guys because of what they do, not necessarily because of who they are. In other words, people may do bad things, but deep down they are still human beings. The theme is explored somewhat in a couple of scenes, including a fairly funny one with real-life giant Dalip Singh in which Max defeats evil not with weapons, but with compassion and understanding. It just seems sort of thrown in at the last minute, as if it became apparent way too late that the film was lacking in depth.

steve carell get smart telephoneWith that said, the film is not completely lacking in laughs. Carell, for the most part, shines–he sells Max’s deadpan, humble straightforwardness and has a way of making even the most obvious jokes laughable. Arkin too, when he is given the chance, is hilarious, and actually steals the show in the end with just one line. Though the two are funny, they can’t save the predictability of most of the humor and the lazily conceived supporting characters. For instance, Dwayne Johnson (as Agent 23) is just kind of there because, you know, he’s Dwayne Johnson (whatever you do, don’t call him the Rock!!), and he does well at looking good and fighting with people, both of which are played to the maximum. Office nerds Bruce (Heroes’ Masi Oka) and Lloyd (Nate Torrence) are typical comic relief, and though each of them get a couple good belly laughs going, there’s nothing that distinguishes them as very important. The biggest disappointment is Agent 99, though. Hathaway, who is a good actress in her own right, just doesn’t have that much to do other than to look really, really hot. Even when it is attempted to develop her character, it is too little too late, and she never becomes more than a walking centerfold. Plus, the chemistry between Hathaway and Carell just isn’t there. I found myself laughing at their attempted romantic moments, perhaps because of my inability to laugh more often elsewhere.

If a little more time were spent on developing the characters, tightening the humor and creating a more original and unpredictable scenario, Get Smart could have been right up there with the Naked Gun movies. If the themes had been expanded upon and woven into the script with more care, it might have been even better. However, in the end, it all feels quite a bit rushed–something that happens very often in Hollywood, unfortunately.

Recommended Scene-Stealers rating: a minor rock fist down

What did you think of this or “The Love Guru”? Who will win the much-heralded comedy box office showdown this weekend? Post below!

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Josh June 20, 2008 at 8:35 am

i’m not going to completely disagree with this review, because i think there is a lot of valid points. i have to say i enjoyed it more than that though. i would have to say a minor rock fist up. summer comedies often fall flat, but this didn’t for me. It could be because i was a fan of the original series, or because the last movie i watched was “…Zohan”, which was god-awful, but i liked it. The most common description of the movie coming out of the theater was “cute”. I would probably agree. It’s a pretty safe comedy that you can sit and be entertained by; full of mostly slapstick humor, fat jokes, and silly wordplay (like the TV show). I obviously didn’t get to see “Love Guru” then, but judging by my friends reactions, i probably made the better choice. Even if neither were the best movies we have ever scene.

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2 Josh June 20, 2008 at 8:35 am

i’m not going to completely disagree with this review, because i think there is a lot of valid points. i have to say i enjoyed it more than that though. i would have to say a minor rock fist up. summer comedies often fall flat, but this didn’t for me. It could be because i was a fan of the original series, or because the last movie i watched was “…Zohan”, which was god-awful, but i liked it. The most common description of the movie coming out of the theater was “cute”. I would probably agree. It’s a pretty safe comedy that you can sit and be entertained by; full of mostly slapstick humor, fat jokes, and silly wordplay (like the TV show). I obviously didn’t get to see “Love Guru” then, but judging by my friends reactions, i probably made the better choice. Even if neither were the best movies we have ever scene.

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3 ChrisKnudsen June 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Hey Cameron dude. Nice review. I was probably going to stay unless I just happen to be at the theater and say an opportunity to sneak in for free. Maybe I will just sneak in to the Hulk again instead.

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4 ChrisKnudsen June 20, 2008 at 4:31 pm

Hey Cameron dude. Nice review. I was probably going to stay unless I just happen to be at the theater and say an opportunity to sneak in for free. Maybe I will just sneak in to the Hulk again instead.

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5 travis June 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

I laughed more than i thought i would at Get Smart but not as hard as i have in the past, so Cameron I agree w/ a minor rock fist down.

P.S. Why didn’t they have more agent 13 he had some serious potential and all he got to do was sit in a tree.

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6 travis June 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

I laughed more than i thought i would at Get Smart but not as hard as i have in the past, so Cameron I agree w/ a minor rock fist down.

P.S. Why didn’t they have more agent 13 he had some serious potential and all he got to do was sit in a tree.

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7 RCM June 23, 2008 at 3:38 am

I think that most of the people who post on this site would agree that “Get Smart” lives somewhere between the Minor Rock Fist Up-Minor Rock Fist Down area. Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart is spot on, a fact that fans of the original show will probably attest too. Nostalgic fans also get treated with several well timed through backs and sequences of the Mel Brooks classic that influenced so many slapstick comedies.

The bad: poor plotting and character development. The relationship between Max and 99 (Hathaway is a lot of fun here, or maybe just really hot) does feel forced and completely unbelievable, despite both actors otherwise giving fun performances. There are some really obvious and silly jabs at Prez. Bush that feel sorta tired (making fun of him is so easy that someone has already done it better). The ROCK has one kind of funny sequence up front, but then just becomes a lame foil for our hero’s that feels flat. The plot is too predictable, or otherwise just lame. I also felt that some of the action sequences seemed amateurishly shot despite being entertaining.

The good: slapstick done right in my opinion; especially put up against “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan”. “Get Smart” isn’t a smart movie, but it is good for several laughs if you’re in the mood for good old fashion silliness. Carell is his standard funny in all his lines and expressions, and I actually really like Hathaway here; she’s kind of the heart of the movie. Arkin really does steal the show; he has all the funniest lines, and really put me on the plus side of this movie. Some good references to the old show, a necessary angle for any modernized adaption.

Overall, Cameron Hawk’s review is pretty spot-on. Had this movie come out in December (when where’re shore to get smarter comedies), I might have disliked it as much as he did, but alas, this is a summer of Zohan and Love Guru; this movie shines by comparison. For anyone who cares, I would give “Get Smart” a minor (stress the MINOR) rock fist up. There are far worse wastes of time at the theaters right now.

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8 RCM June 23, 2008 at 3:38 am

I think that most of the people who post on this site would agree that “Get Smart” lives somewhere between the Minor Rock Fist Up-Minor Rock Fist Down area. Steve Carell as Maxwell Smart is spot on, a fact that fans of the original show will probably attest too. Nostalgic fans also get treated with several well timed through backs and sequences of the Mel Brooks classic that influenced so many slapstick comedies.

The bad: poor plotting and character development. The relationship between Max and 99 (Hathaway is a lot of fun here, or maybe just really hot) does feel forced and completely unbelievable, despite both actors otherwise giving fun performances. There are some really obvious and silly jabs at Prez. Bush that feel sorta tired (making fun of him is so easy that someone has already done it better). The ROCK has one kind of funny sequence up front, but then just becomes a lame foil for our hero’s that feels flat. The plot is too predictable, or otherwise just lame. I also felt that some of the action sequences seemed amateurishly shot despite being entertaining.

The good: slapstick done right in my opinion; especially put up against “You Don’t Mess With the Zohan”. “Get Smart” isn’t a smart movie, but it is good for several laughs if you’re in the mood for good old fashion silliness. Carell is his standard funny in all his lines and expressions, and I actually really like Hathaway here; she’s kind of the heart of the movie. Arkin really does steal the show; he has all the funniest lines, and really put me on the plus side of this movie. Some good references to the old show, a necessary angle for any modernized adaption.

Overall, Cameron Hawk’s review is pretty spot-on. Had this movie come out in December (when where’re shore to get smarter comedies), I might have disliked it as much as he did, but alas, this is a summer of Zohan and Love Guru; this movie shines by comparison. For anyone who cares, I would give “Get Smart” a minor (stress the MINOR) rock fist up. There are far worse wastes of time at the theaters right now.

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9 Jeremiah Watkins June 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

I saw The Love Guru and Get Smart this weekend. I really wanted to like The Love Guru, despite everyone telling me that it was going to be terrible, but I found myself agreeing with most critics in this one. I am a big fan of Mike Meyers, and he really disappointed me with this movie. I think The Love Guru character would have worked great as a one-time sketch on SNL, but not as a feature-length film. I was really excited for Get Smart and my impression of it was a “Minor Rock Fist Up”. It was just pretty good. They overadvertised and a lot of the funny parts were in the commercial, it was worth seeing it in theaters though.

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10 Jeremiah Watkins June 23, 2008 at 9:42 am

I saw The Love Guru and Get Smart this weekend. I really wanted to like The Love Guru, despite everyone telling me that it was going to be terrible, but I found myself agreeing with most critics in this one. I am a big fan of Mike Meyers, and he really disappointed me with this movie. I think The Love Guru character would have worked great as a one-time sketch on SNL, but not as a feature-length film. I was really excited for Get Smart and my impression of it was a “Minor Rock Fist Up”. It was just pretty good. They overadvertised and a lot of the funny parts were in the commercial, it was worth seeing it in theaters though.

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11 Eric Melin June 23, 2008 at 10:26 am

What I think is interesting is that the box office reciepts kind of tell an “out with the old, in with the new” story. The exaggerated humor of Myers is kind of old hat right now in this age where schlubs like the 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up are rooted more in reality. Then again, Carell’s movie isn’t really like that. His reputation alone may have sold that a little more. That, and “Get Smart” looks a little more kid-friendly than a hippie with fart jokes in the trailer and a tagline of “His karma is huge.”

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12 Eric Melin June 23, 2008 at 10:26 am

What I think is interesting is that the box office reciepts kind of tell an “out with the old, in with the new” story. The exaggerated humor of Myers is kind of old hat right now in this age where schlubs like the 40 Year-Old Virgin and Knocked Up are rooted more in reality. Then again, Carell’s movie isn’t really like that. His reputation alone may have sold that a little more. That, and “Get Smart” looks a little more kid-friendly than a hippie with fart jokes in the trailer and a tagline of “His karma is huge.”

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13 RCM June 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

In this day in age Steve Carell can definitely be counted on more for good comedy than Mike Myers; which is sad, because I actually like Mike. Then again, sorry Mike, but Steve is, like Eric said, stiff fresh seeming, and I like Steve too.

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14 RCM June 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

In this day in age Steve Carell can definitely be counted on more for good comedy than Mike Myers; which is sad, because I actually like Mike. Then again, sorry Mike, but Steve is, like Eric said, stiff fresh seeming, and I like Steve too.

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15 Cameron June 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Yeah RCM, I can understand where you’re coming from–I did appreciate the slapstick factor of Get Smart; big fan of that sort of thing. I opted out of Zohan and Love Guru, so I have a feeling if I had seen those first, I would have liked this one better as well. I wanted to be excited about Zohan, actually, because of the co-writing by Judd Apatow, but I know better than to think any Sandler-schemed vehicle that comes out these days will be any good. That guy needs to be in more PT Anderson movies, or something. Someone get him out of his juvenile bullshit movie phase please, because, as Punch Drunk Love has proven, the guy can really act if given the chance.

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16 Cameron June 23, 2008 at 8:50 pm

Yeah RCM, I can understand where you’re coming from–I did appreciate the slapstick factor of Get Smart; big fan of that sort of thing. I opted out of Zohan and Love Guru, so I have a feeling if I had seen those first, I would have liked this one better as well. I wanted to be excited about Zohan, actually, because of the co-writing by Judd Apatow, but I know better than to think any Sandler-schemed vehicle that comes out these days will be any good. That guy needs to be in more PT Anderson movies, or something. Someone get him out of his juvenile bullshit movie phase please, because, as Punch Drunk Love has proven, the guy can really act if given the chance.

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17 Cleavy June 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Nice review, Cam! Well-written and a nice analysis. Thanks!

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18 Cleavy June 23, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Nice review, Cam! Well-written and a nice analysis. Thanks!

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19 Mike June 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I got to see Get Smart last Monday (6/16/08). Here’s what I wrote up that night:

I got home from watching Get Smart a little while ago, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This was a pretty good movie. Steve Carrell finally found a leading role that suits him. (Evan Almighty was crap; The 40 Year Old Virgin was OK.)

I’m not too fond of the idea of turning old TV shows into movies, but this turned out well. It was updated nicely, and there was plenty of homage paid to the television series. I remember watching Get Smart on Nick at Nite (I think), but I don’t remember much about the show itself.

The actors all seemed to blend well. Even The Rock fit in nicely. (Yes, I know he’s just ‘Dwayne Johnson’ now, but he is and always shall be The Rock.) There were plenty of laughs and action, and the story was paced decently. There weren’t many slow points or much in the way of downtime. There was a brief introductory scene at the beginning of the movie that recapped the history of CONTROL and KAOS, and then we were right into the story.

Maxwell Smart was portrayed as a competent, though clumsy super spy. It wasn’t too over the top, which was nice. Anne Hathaway complemented Carrell nicely. There were a ton of recognizable faces in smaller roles. Even General Zod as the main villain!

I’d recommend seeing this movie if you get the opportunity. It would be a great movie to go see in a large group. However, this isn’t a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen, so feel free to wait for the DVD.

Edit | Delete | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | 09:20 PM (public)

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20 Mike June 24, 2008 at 2:01 pm

I got to see Get Smart last Monday (6/16/08). Here’s what I wrote up that night:

I got home from watching Get Smart a little while ago, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. This was a pretty good movie. Steve Carrell finally found a leading role that suits him. (Evan Almighty was crap; The 40 Year Old Virgin was OK.)

I’m not too fond of the idea of turning old TV shows into movies, but this turned out well. It was updated nicely, and there was plenty of homage paid to the television series. I remember watching Get Smart on Nick at Nite (I think), but I don’t remember much about the show itself.

The actors all seemed to blend well. Even The Rock fit in nicely. (Yes, I know he’s just ‘Dwayne Johnson’ now, but he is and always shall be The Rock.) There were plenty of laughs and action, and the story was paced decently. There weren’t many slow points or much in the way of downtime. There was a brief introductory scene at the beginning of the movie that recapped the history of CONTROL and KAOS, and then we were right into the story.

Maxwell Smart was portrayed as a competent, though clumsy super spy. It wasn’t too over the top, which was nice. Anne Hathaway complemented Carrell nicely. There were a ton of recognizable faces in smaller roles. Even General Zod as the main villain!

I’d recommend seeing this movie if you get the opportunity. It would be a great movie to go see in a large group. However, this isn’t a movie that needs to be seen on the big screen, so feel free to wait for the DVD.

Edit | Delete | 0 Comments | Add Comment | Permalink | 09:20 PM (public)

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21 Mia July 1, 2008 at 11:36 am

“Get Smart” was significantly better than I thought it would be. While I love Steve Carrell, love “The Office”, love “Knocked Up”, I didn’t expect much from “Get Smart”, although I’m not sure why. My boyfriend and I ended up getting some passes to the advanced screening (otherwise we might not have seen it) and it was actually a really good comedy. It made me laugh, which was pleasantly unexpected. I feel bad for having had such low expectations, but I’m glad I went. Definitely worth a watch.

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22 Mia July 1, 2008 at 11:36 am

“Get Smart” was significantly better than I thought it would be. While I love Steve Carrell, love “The Office”, love “Knocked Up”, I didn’t expect much from “Get Smart”, although I’m not sure why. My boyfriend and I ended up getting some passes to the advanced screening (otherwise we might not have seen it) and it was actually a really good comedy. It made me laugh, which was pleasantly unexpected. I feel bad for having had such low expectations, but I’m glad I went. Definitely worth a watch.

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