The Love Guru (2008)
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Review Date: August 12, 2008
Director: Marco Schnabel
Writer: Mike Myers, Graham Cordy
Producers: Mike Myers, Michael DeLuca, Donald Lee Jr
Mike Myers as Guru Pitka
Jessica Alba as Jane
Justin Timberlake as Jacques
A “love guru” of Indian persuasion is hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team to help their best player traverse a tough time, after he leaves his gorgeous wife and she starts sleeping with the opposing goaltender, who just happens to have the largest penis in the National Hockey League. Still with me? Well, okay…then…well…a lot of fart and cock jokes ensue, as well as plenty of other attempts at humor. On the upside, the film only lasts about 85 minutes. Mariska Hargitay, indeed.
Before I get into any of the reasonings behind my rating, allow me to say this very clearly: this is not a good movie. It’s an ambitious movie, it’s got plenty of chutzpah behind its balls and it doesn’t recycle the same ol’ sitcom jokes into a half-assed screenplay, but sometimes ambition and originality alone don’t cut it, particularly when it comes to comedies. Comedy films have to be…well, how do I say this delicately…funny!!! Besides some of this film’s many other faults, including the lack of interesting or entertaining secondary characters, its lackluster pace and energy and its complete lack of engaging plot or subplots, its biggest problem is that it just didn’t provide many consistently humorous moments. The lead character, played enthusiastically by Canadian Mike Myers, is pretty silly himself, and did have me smiling and chuckling here and there (love those book titles), but even his jokes became pretty stale after a while, especially after the film’s more captivating first act. Things went downhill from there, with some of the characters even sharing “real moments”, which is impossible, since the film is so over-the-top and goofy, that you can’t really take anything seriously. Myers should have stuck to that goofy tone, and left all that “romance” bullshit on the cutting room floor.

In fact, he should have left the opening and closing musical numbers there as well, leaving about 60 minutes of an SNL character trying his best to escape from an extremely limited screenplay, on the screen. That said, I did enjoy one other character in the film, played by the multi-talented Justin Timberlake, who seemed to have a great time playing a French-Canadian, and came through on many levels. Having grown up in Quebec, I can vouch for his accent being much better than a lot of other actors who try and speak French-Canadian (the accent is very different from an accent from France). The rest of the cast was embarrassing though, especially Ben Kingsley and his stupid guru character, as well as Verne Troyer, whose character seemed only there to make “small people” jokes. Ha-ha. I would have much preferred had they put another comedian in the role of the coach and built that up a little. Also, I’m a fan of cock jokes as much as the next guy, but this film might have broken the record for the most penis jokes in one sitting. I mean, wow, that’s a lot of cock…jokes. As for Jessica Alba, it felt as though she only came in for a few days of shooting, did her scenes and bolted. She also delivered her lines about as convincingly as I give head (not very well).

And oh, I almost forgot how bad Stephen Colbert’s character was as a “drugged up” TV sportscaster. Those characters are usually a hoot in films like this, but this one was just way too over-the-top here…made no sense whatsoever. Which can also be said about most of the movie, which despite seemingly “making fun” of all the psycho-babble books and gurus out there, ultimately resolved its own issues in the film about as easily as a hooker makes money on New Year’s eve (very easily). All that said, I’d definitely recommend this kind of movie over crap like ARE WE DONE YET or 27 DRESSES, for creativity alone, but at the end of the day, the majority of the humor doesn’t really work here, the story blows, most of the characters are completely one-dimensional and uninteresting, and even though some of the stuff clicks (the ode to Bollywood, the Morgan Freeman narration and when the guru gets kicked in the nuts and screams, “Oooooooooo…..mar Sharif!), the film is far from good, so approach with caution. PS: Loved the cameos though, especially from Kanye West and Mike Myers. Funny. Also, I’d like to date Meagan Good, she’s very hot. I’m done.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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