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'Meet Dave' appeals to young

Even though I am a critic at heart, there are times when I really want to say something -- anything -- nice about a movie. However, films like Meet Dave make it really, really, really hard to do this.

If you haven't heard of this movie, consider yourself lucky. After the smashing success of Pluto Nash, Eddie Murphy has been tapped for another sci-fi comedy. This time, he plays a human-form spaceship that comes to Earth, populated with tiny aliens bent on stealing the world's water supply.

When the captain (also played by Eddie Murphy) starts to interact with the humans, he -- and all the others in the ship -- learn to appreciate us.

I can say this about "Meet Dave"... It's better than "The Love Guru."

It's also better than last year's "Norbit" because when I originally saw those trailers, I thought it had a shot at being funny. With "Meet Dave," there's nothing in the trailer -- or the film itself, for that matter -- that gives this impression.

So, it's not the worst thing out there right now. And there are other things that "Meet Dave" is better than... like famine, disease and genocide... but not by much.

The film staggers out of the gate with infantile jokes and awkward humor. Much of the movie hinges on Murphy mugging at the camera like Bill Cosby in a bad JELL-O Pudding Pops ad.

The script feels like a rejected "Saturday Night Live" sketch, and the characters make no sense.

Elizabeth Banks, who plays Dave's first human encounter, is cute on screen, but her character makes the most moronic decisions (like bringing Dave home with her and taking him to a Cuban dance club with her fifth-grade son).

Even the internal chronology of the film is off (like when Banks' character hits Dave with his car, then takes him home for breakfast).

Also opening this week is "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," which I described to someone recently as what the "Men in Black" movies could have been if they had been taken a little more seriously.

On the flip side, "Meet Dave" is what these films also could have been if they wanted to make utter crap.

I honestly cannot understand how this movie got into production.

The dialogue is terrible, and the script is thrown together like pig slop in a trough.

Word is that Eddie Murphy didn't even make it to the premier of this film... and I can't say that I blame him.

Still, to keep my attempted kindness of my review (and don't ask me why I have a burning desire to be nice to this film... I just am in that kind of a mood), "Meet Dave" is not without an audience.

I brought my two sons -- ages five and seven -- to see the film. They loved the poop jokes and slapstick, and the goofiness of the film worked for them.

However, if you are older than seven, you're going to want to avoid this movie. Ultimately, the only way a sane person could enjoy this movie is if they deliberately give themselves lead poisoning over the course of years, slowly go insane and then catch it on DVD.

Then, and only then, is it even going to be remotely funny.

Kevin Carr is an independent writer, journalist and filmmaker who lives in Columbus, Ohio.