but I’m really not that sure about casting Anne Hathaway as Agent 99 in the new Get Smart movie. Steve Carell is a genius choice for Maxwell Smart, but can she match him as 99?
I quite liked her in The Devil Wears Prada, but the two parts are hardly equivalent. She’s far too much younger than Steve Carell to match him with experience, and that age dynamic is all wrong for the relationship. Cameron Diaz in a black wig would have been a far smarter choice, or probably half a dozen other experienced comedic actresses with really long legs but not quite so fresh a face. By the consensus of insider accounts though, more experienced comedic actresses may well have turned down the part because the writing is shite.
If the film’s script had been developed with the intent of truly honouring the clever parody that was the heart of the writing of the original series from Mel Brooks, Buck Henry, and Leonard Stern, then it might have had a chance. Unfortunately, although all three are still alive, none of them were asked to be part of developing the script, and apparently that really shows.
When are Hollywood producers finally going to twig that what made shows like Get Smart, Bewitched and The Avengers (just to mention two other TV sitcoms very poorly adapted for cinema) beloved, what made them award-winning cult comedies, what made them great wasn’t just a cheesy premise with some glamour and absurd plots and corny jokes? It wasn’t having a famous cast, either, because those shows made the actors famous, they weren’t famous enough to make people watch the show just for them. What made these shows great was sharp writing surrounding the cheesy premise and absurd plots and corny jokes, and Get Smart had by far the sharpest writing of the three, and without that sharp writing the movie simply won’t ring the right bells with the audience. If today’s producers don’t spend enough money on script development to get the sharp writing right then simply spending a big budget on a great cast and inserting flashy action scenes (spare me!) to get the adrenalin racing won’t make it work.
When it comes out on cable I probably will watch it though. I just have to see what Terence Stamp does with the part of Siegfried.
Categories: arts & entertainment