The Lane Train

News and Pop Culture for the Blog Generation

Weekend Forecast: Slightly Funny, With a High Chance of Stupid

Posted by thelanetrain on June 19, 2008

In what has already been a mildy successful summer season, this weekend marks the release of two of the summer’s most highly anticipated comedies. The Mike Myers vehicle The Love Guru, which has already seen a wave of criticism from Indian and Hindu activists goes up against the Steve Carrell vehicle Get Smart, a remake of the classic 60’s television series. And while its safe to say that both films will probably do well at the box office this weekend, the reviews have been anything but kind.

After The Jump: Our full head-to-head analysis and Box Office Prediction.

For The Love Guru (which received an embarrassing 11% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes), critics complain that the movie is swimming in pop culture references and juvenile humor. We’re happy to see Myers team up again with Verne Troyer (of Austin Powers and The Surreal Life fame, and btw, is pushing 40), alongside eye candy Jessica Alba, but these opening reviews have us scared. Even with Mike Myers’ heavy promotion on the late night circuit and reputation, things just don’t look good. Brian Lowry of Variety writes:

Mike Myers partially wears down resistance by simply pummeling the audience with bathroom jokes, sixth-grade puns and silly songs, and clocking in under 90 minutes, the movie avoids this summer’s comedic mini-trend of overstaying its welcome.

So at least this film’s death will be short, quick, and painless, hopefully more so than other summer bombs.

Get Smart doesn’t fare much better with the reviewers, but at least it has a higher approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes (it’s almost fresh at 55%). With an all star cast aside from Carrell (Anne Hathaway, Dwyane Johnson, and Alan Arkin also star), we’re expecting this film to live up to the dynamism that Don Adams and Barbara Feldon were famous for. Most of the critics agree that the mix of current humor and comedy combined with the nostalgic feel and reputation of the TV show doesn’t exactly yield a winning comedy, especially when the humor comes off as stupid instead of slapstick. We think that the Arizona Daily Star’s Phil Villarreal sums up the movie best (“Missed it by that much,” he writes), but Alonso Duralde of MSNBC gives a more accurate explanation:

The result is a secret-agent satire that’s neither fish nor fowl. The comedy is only so-so, and the espionage action isn’t much of a thrill either.

Meh, the film is harmless, but by no means noteworthy. Since the Cold War has long since ended, the conflict on which the film rests has also lost a lot of its significance. Chaos was destroyed 18 years ago.

So in the end, it will be a grand weekend for summer comedies, although this weekend’s selection is very supbar. We predict that Get Smart will finish on top at the end of the weekend, although I will personally be seeing The Love Guru.

And finally, rest assured that both movies will surely do better than this upcoming box office bomb.


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