The TV cook of my dreams did herself no favors when she visited my city for a show and described Georgetown as “just outside of D.C.” But then she stood in her kitchen and made something else, and I could forgive. The moment leapt to mind in the first minutes of Get Smart. Steve Carell entered the Smithsonian Castle, walked through Natural History’s Henry the Elephant rotunda and headed down a set of stairs into the American History museum, shuttered two years now.
Upshot No. 1: Fiction is acceptable way of screwing up Washington’s geography, but if you’re gonna go, go all the way. I wanted the Wright Flyer and Calder mobile in a Carell-hangs-on-funny-flying-things scene. Upshot No. 2: Moving the great elephant a few feet to the side if the rotunda in the late ’90s renovation of Natural History has to be one of the smartest museum renovation moves ever. In other news, American History reopens this month, and I have high hopes. Upshot No. 3: Get Smart, now on DVD, was more entertaining than it had any right to be. It simultaneously made me want to watch The Office, The Rocketeer, The Rock’s singing, and Anne Hathaway in anything, anything at all.