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Review: The Love Guru

The Love Guru
5 10

PLOT: Too bad for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Their star player and his wife are having marital troubles. Not only is their relationship troubled, but it is having a major impact on his hockey playing abilities. So the lovely owner of the team contacts the second most famous love guru in all the land. When he arrives, his work with the hockey phenom is put to the test as the guru develops a bit of that loving feeling for the beautiful team owner. All of this while Bollywood musical numbers, humping elephants and enough penis jokes are offered up reminding the audience not to take one moment of this seriously… Mariska Hargitay to you!

REVIEW: Okay, this is a tough one. THE LOVE GURU is one of those movies that just didn’t look very good. Mike Myers has a real talent for creating unique and funny characters, but even when he mentioned the film back while he was promoting SHREK THE THIRD, it just didn’t sound funny. But it is my intention to give every movie a chance, to try an see it for what it is. And the truth is, much to my surprise, I laughed quite a bit during his Guru-ness. It is insanely silly and ridiculous and for every laugh, there was a moment of eye rolling or a vocal ‘Ugh’. But is this the painfully horrible comedy that many are claiming it to be? Not at all. I can tell that Mike really put some effort into creating a Bollywood/Hockey/Culture spoof. It examines real life Guru types and other cultural references and takes a humorous approach. Yet it does so with a ton of short people jokes, and a bunch of potty humor that is just a little too safe considering all the dick jokes.

It all begins as the Guru Pitka (Myers) is struggling to find an identity. He is terribly jealous of the more popular Guru Deepak Chopra who is tight with Oprah Winfrey. And it just so happens that the Toronto Maple Leafs are having issues with their star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco). Ever since he and his wife Prudence (Meagan Goode) started having marital issues. His game is gone. It has gotten so bad that the lovely Prudence is now seeing the goalie for the Maple Leaf’s top rivals… his name is Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake). Get it… le coq… grande… yep, many of the jokes are that obvious and crude. But just not crude enough. So you have a star player who is losing his game, leaving the fans pissed off…… so what is a team owner to do? Well this extremely attractive team owner is played by Jessica Alba, and she happens to be a fan of the Guru Pitka… and both are single. And yes, that part gets sort of creepy, especially since Myers and Alba don’t have a whole lot of chemistry going on. But long story short, she hires Pitka to help save the Roanoke’s marriage.

So here we have a predictable yet sometimes funny spoof which has some genuinely hilarious moments. I’m not kidding. I loved the way they used Mariska Hargitay (“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit”). That joke works almost every time it is used, especially when she shows up for a cameo. Other fun cameos include Val Kilmer and Jessica Simpson. In fact, I really enjoyed the way this film played with the whole trend of celebrities and their religion of the week. I also found Mike Myers himself to be very entertaining. Yeah, he constantly plays it up to the camera, but it still works. He really chews up the scenery as Pitka, much like he did as Austin Powers. But that also is one of the problems with the film. Many of the jokes seem to have been done before, only with a different dialect. Yet when he is on-screen, he adds a bit of charm and makes it not too painful to sit for a reasonably short hour and a half.

As for the bad, well let’s start with Justin Timberlake. I don’t necessarily think Justin is a bad actor. I think he has some real talent and he has done some really good work hosting “Saturday Night Live”. But here, it seems that he forgot that he was making a movie and not doing a bunch of skits. The accent, and his need to really give the jokes an extra punch really made for a bland performance. As for the rest of the cast, Romany Malco and Meagan Goode are both quite good here. Neither try to ham it up too much, and I love the way Meagan says “Damn!”. I could say the same thing about Goode… Damn, she be pretty. But on with the bad. My biggest problem is that too many of the jokes fall flat after constant usage. Even the good jokes… well, especially the good jokes, they are used so often that they soon lose whatever humor they had to begin with. How many times can you make short jokes around Vern Troyer and still be funny. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying offensive, I’m just saying dumb. Don’t even get me started on the humping elephants.

Yet with all the problems that are brewing in this guru stew, I still had a good enough time. Many a time, I was laughing. I found that even a few of the really bad jokes put a smile on my face. So the question is, is this a good movie? Well, not necessarily good, but if you are a fan of Mike Myers I would recommend at least taking a look on DVD. Is it worth paying your hard earned dollars at the local theatre? Well that all depends on just how big of a Mike fan you really are. I almost feel it is worth seeing for the musical numbers themselves. Come on… when have you ever heard “9 to 5” and not had a smile on your face? Now imagine the Guru Pitka gleefully singing the Dolly Parton classic. Yes, this is not necessarily the return to form that you were waiting for, but if you find the guy funny you might have a good time. Just make sure and lower those expectations… lower… lower… okay… even lower… there, now you might even enjoy THE LOVE GURU. My rating 5/10 -- JimmyO





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