The difference between Get Smart and many other spy comedy films such as Johnny English is that the main character Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) is not incompetent. The film doesn’t have to tortuously explain why an imbecile is placed in charge of saving the world. Instead it chooses to create an unlikely situation that grants CONTROL analyst Smart his dearest wish of becoming a field agent. Smart’s inevitable pratfalls are the result of inexperience rather than inability. This makes it easier to sympathise and identify with him, and makes the film’s humour feel very comfortable — like you’re laughing at a friend.
And Anne Hathaway looks nice, too.