by Curt Holman
Any enthusiasm you may have for the summer movie season can be dampened instantly by the trailers for the big comedies from such ex-"Saturday Night Live" stars as Adam Sandler, Mike Myers and Will Ferrell. The one with the most potential may be Eddie Murphy's Meet Dave (opening July 11), judging from the just-released trailer. With nods to All of Me and Woody Allen's Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask), Meet Dave depicts a race of tiny aliens who pilot a starship that looks just like an average human being, with Murphy playing both the "ship" and its captain. Maybe Meet Dave won't work at all, but it definitely looks like an original idea:
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But what about the rest?
You Don't Mess With the Zohan (June 6)
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Adam Sandler plays an Israeli commando who moves to Manhattan to pursue his dream to cut ("and style") hair. In a post 9/11 era, themes of terrorism and Middle Eastern security could blaze new trails in comedy, but the preview looks more like Sandler doing a variation on Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat. I dread the prospect of hearing Sandler shout the film's title in a thick accent, but maybe he'll surprise us.
Step Brothers (July 25)
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After the likes of Run, Fatboy, Run and The 40 Year-Old Virigin, Step Brothers looks like the latest and lamest in a spate of films about overgrown, middle-aged boys, with Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as step brothers suffered from chronic cases of arrested development. The "same-old, same-old" looks even older.
Get Smart (June 20)
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This looks like it could go either way. Steve Carell seems to be an inspired choice to replace Don Adams as bumbling Agent 86, but the trailer for the spy spoof emphasize the "spy" aspects over the "spoof."
The Love Guru (June 20)
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I hate to pre-judge, but something about this makes my soul freeze over. Mike Myers' new role looks less like a fresh character than more of Meyers' horny, passive-aggressive comedic tics and catch-phrases repackaged in Bollywood-ready make-up. I would really love to be wrong about this one, because Myers can be fiercely talented, but The Love Guru looks like the worst. (It also shares the opening date with Get Smart, so I'll bet one of them will move to a less competitive berth.)