The Love Guru
We’re SURE this movie is terrible!

Theatrical Release Date: 06/20/2008
Director: Marco Schnabel
Cast: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Ben Kingsley, Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Verne Troyer

I was going to call Mike Myers’ latest film “Austin Powers 4: The Love Guru” … but that would be a little bit of an insult to Austin Powers. To say that “The Love Guru” goes for the cheapest, easiest jokes isn’t too surprising … that it’s all the same joke over and over again – that’s what’s so annoying. (I didn’t even bother to come up with an original caption for the photo above, taking a joke I used from another hockey comedy, “Blades of Glory” .. if the filmmakers aren’t going to do something original, why should I?)

In the film, Myers plays the world’s second best guru (Deepak Chopra holds the title). He dreams of becoming number one and ascertains that getting on Oprah is the key. So when a high profile relationship of a star hockey player (Romany Malco) becomes the hot tabloid fodder, it’s The Love Guru to the rescue.

Right from the get-go, the film begins its assault on the audience, with Myers schtick as a Guru being the not so amazing ability to take words like “nowhere” and tell people they can change it to “now here”, make fun of Verne Troyer’s height, use “Mariska Hargitay” as his own “peace be with you” and an ad-nauseum display of his self-help books with titles like “Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Why are you still hitting yourself?”

All of these jokes are funny … ONCE. Five minutes in, we’ve heard them all a few dozen times it seems and they aren’t funny ever again – which is a problem since that’s the majority of the humor. Myers and crew throw in a few covers of well known songs using a sitar, Jessica Alba prances around looking hot and almost pulls off a decent job (in context of her other “roles”) but is then forced to make us believe she could fall in love with this guru caricature and that’s she’s also the owner (via inheritance) of an NHL team, Romany Malco’s comedic talents are wasted as his role consists of blindly following this random guy who shows up out of the blue to fix his relationship and Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan try to add some humor as hockey commentators but with everything else not working, I just didn’t have it in me to go along.

This film really is a mess … thankfully a very short mess at just under 90 minutes … but a mess nonetheless (that rhyme is funnier than 96% of the film). “Sir” Ben Kingsley (and I really am thinking of taking back his knighthood) plays Myers’ mentor and his cross-eyed gag is old in the first 6 seconds it’s introduced. His introduction of the game of “stinkmop” had me cringing (and I’m the type of person who thinks “Jackass” is funny). Even the “cameos” of Oprah and Celine Dion fail on a comedic level since they had to use an actress to overdub Ms. Winfrey and they just got a random brunette woman to film from far away while they played Celine songs. However, I will say that there are two elements that if clipped out and put online, would constitute actual, legitimate humor.

The first good part of the film are the hockey team logos that fight it out when the “TV coverage” updates the audience on the Stanley Cup finals. Yes, go ahead and dwell on this. Perhaps the second funniest element of a major motion picture are mean-spirited CGI logos hitting each other in the crotch with hockey sticks or burning each other with a flamethrower. This could have been made even funnier if actual mascots were doing this in live-action but you really shouldn’t expect ANYTHING from this film. (Nor should you be seeing it without a doctor’s note and so much money to burn that you should be donating it to my college scholarship repayment fund … e-mail me for details.) They even managed to mess this up because after the last game, you don’t see the winning logo get his last punishing blow against the other. Is it possible to get my money back on a free screening?

Now, should you be tricked into a theater showing this, there is at least Justin Timberlake. I know, I know – if he’s the comedic savior, this film must really be bad. But seriously, playing the hockey goaltender Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (and yes, that joke is used over and over and over again but I laughed each time), Timberlake almost singlehandedly keeps this film from getting a zero on my ratings scale. He plays it with such zeal and joy that I couldn’t help but enjoy his performance and as much I think Romany Malco is a fantastic comedic actor, I think a film of The Love Guru helping “Le Coq” overcome some spiritual dilemma would have been a funnier route to go (His tattoo is hilarious as well … let’s just say that the euphemism about “The Man” and “The Legend” are well placed).

For all those straight men and lady-lovin’ women out there, the visuals of Jessica Alba and Meagan Good do help to calm the voice in your head that from about the 15 minute mark is screaming “Stand up and leave this place! Run, dammit! Run!” However, if it weren’t my task to bring my loyal readers the straight poop on films, even the two of them might not have been enough to keep me from finding another way to kill the next hour of my life.

“The Love Guru” is an Epic Fail (using the words of Attack of the Show) and there are so many penis jokes that I’m genuinely surprised that 3 or 4 writers that tormented the film world with the “Scary Movie” franchise didn’t have their hack typing fingers all over this. This easily gets a 1 out of 5 from me and it’s only the lovely forms of Alba and Good and the former Mouseketeer and member of N’Sync, Justin Timberlake, that made at least a few minutes of this celluloid crapfest bearable.

Oh, and if I haven’t been clear – Avoid this film! If you need something funny, see “Kung Fu Panda” or “Get Smart“. I’ve seen funnier muggings than “The Love Guru”. Heck, I might have been in a funnier mugging.