A ‘Guru’ Only A Mother Could Love

by Ian T. McFarland on June 20, 2008

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: The Love Guru
  • IMDB: link

About a month ago, a friend asked me, “Which are you dreading the least – You Don’t Mess With the Zohan or The Love Guru?”  It was a fitting question, as not only did the two movies look like the worst comedies of the summer, but they might have been the worst looking movies of the summer, regardless of genre.  I answered that Zohan looked a bit worse (Sandler‘s last film, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, still left a bad taste in my mouth) but now, having seen both films, I have a hard time deciding which one actually was worse.  All I know is that neither one is much of a winner.

The story is, the Guru Pitka (Mike Myers) is trying to get on Oprah so that he can start selling more books and become the superstar of the Guru world.  But in order to do that, he must first reunite a celebrity couple for reasons never satisfactorily explained.  The obvious lack of attention put into the coming up with a solid story line is partially overlookable, seeing as how Myers (who co-wrote the script) cares less about having a decent script than an excuse to get on camera and tell as many jokes as he can.  And in this respect, The Love Guru isn’t terrible – or at least as terrible as it could be.

There’s nothing in The Love Guru that’s going to have laughing so hard, you tear up.  You’re not going to cramp up or run out of breath.  But is The Love Guru going to make you laugh?  Probably.  It’s obvious that Myers is trying so, so very hard to make it all the jokes work, and the simple truth is that he’s funny enough to get away with it some of the time.  He’s successful enough to get a decent joke out of every four or five attempts; but Myers is by no means on the top of his form.  These jokes are weak, tangential, and far too reliant on silly double entendres.

It’s going to hit well with a younger crowd (anyone who’s yet to graduate from High School in particular is going to fall for it hard) but only because half the jokes involve Myers’ character uttering a Hindu saying that sounds like the punch line in a bathroom humor joke (just a couple of names of characters – Coach Cherkov and Dick Pants.)  There’s so much of obsession with sophomoric humor that you’ll be hard pressed not to laugh at least once, but it’s shoddy humor.  It’s gets the work done, but limps along; like as a lion on a vegetarian diet.

The cast is abysmal.  Myers isn’t acting so much as he is a stand-up comedian desperately pitching jokes at you, and in an annoying accent no less.  Jessica Alba reminds us all that her body is hot and her acting is not.  Justin Timberlake is too lost in his French-Canadian accent to churn out a decent line delivery.  There are some decent turns from Jim Gaffigan and John Oliver; but they don’t have a combined ten minutes of screen time between the three of them.

It feels wrong to only complain about The Love Guru.  For all of its cheesy and easy jokes, it is funny on occasion; but at the same time, it’s not a movie Mike Myers or anyone else should ever feel they have the right to brag about.  The Love Guru would make a great movie to play in the background of a small party – you can afford to miss most of it and catch an occasional modest joke; but in its full glory, there’s not much worth loving in this picture.

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