In Theaters Now: Get Smart, The Love Guru & Brick Lane


Get Smart
directed by Peter Segal

There seems to be a continuing trend of classic television remakes failing miserably when transcribed to the big screen (Bewitched, anyone?) Yet in the wake of the Sex and the City sensation, another television remake is hoping to propel this changing tide. Get Smart, based on the popular series from the 1960s, features an A-list cast including Steve Carell, Anne Hathaway, Dwayne Johnson and Academy Award-winner Alan Arkin. Though the trailers look promising, it’s hard to tell if the script will keep the show’s sharp wit intact. Carell has some pretty big, uh, shoe-phones to fill. While he was able to deadpan his way into audiences’ hearts on NBC’s “The Office,” can Carell hold his own in Don Adams’ legendary role? Mel Brooks, the show’s co-creator, seems to think so. Not that Brooks needs to worry—I mean, have you seen his residual checks?

The Love Guru
directed by Marco Schnabel

Mike Myers dons yet another hideous wig and prosthetic nose in The Love Guru, a film that somehow intertwines floral muumuus, the self-help business and hockey. While Myers is an iconic funnyman in the U.S., he isn’t very popular overseas, as controversy is spreading among Hindu leaders over the frivolous representation of their religion. Political incorrectness aside, appearances by Ben Kingsley and Stephen Colbert will be sure to keep this movie fresh, even despite the presence of the just-barely mediocre Jessica Alba. Having two big-studio comedies released on the same day is proving to be problematic and Paramount executives are crossing their fingers for a box-office smash to edge out rival Get Smart. But can a funny-looking spiritual man charm an audience like a green ogre did several years ago? Well, they do say his karma is huge…

Brick Lane
directed by Sarah Gavron

Another film directed by a woman going virtually unnoticed—how many times have we heard that one before? Based on Monica Ali’s novel of the same name, Brick Lane is an intimate observation of individuals trapped in their own discontent and desires, both of which are requirements for every good arthouse film. Though critics claim that the novel’s emotional depth was sacrificed for the silver screen, Brick Lane has been honored with various awards and nominations on the festival circuit, including the British Independent Film Awards and London Critics Circle Film Awards, and even earned Gavron a BAFTA nomination for “Most Promising Newcomer.” If nothing else, the film serves as a refreshing source of intellect amidst the mindless summer blockbusters currently crowding theaters.

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