Published Jun 19, 2008The Love Guru is essentially a cinematic pastiche of all things familiar to the comedy world of Mike Myers, with a mild sprinkling of recent pop culture. The sheer inanity and peculiar nature of the on-screen happenings lead one to believe that something of amusement might come about, but unfortunately nothing does. Instead, the film spouts out a series of jokes about poo, scrotums, doggy style sex, French-Canadian profanity and copious allusions to fornication, both pachyderm and human.
Pitka (Mike Myers), a North American raised in India by Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley), decides to return to his native land to become the number one guru, surpassing Deepak Chopra. His main course of action involves getting on Oprahs talk show, until Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, seeks Guru Pitka out to help her with their struggling star player, Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco).
Having recently separated from long-time girlfriend Prudence (Meagan Good), Darren suffers from hand trembles, which interfere with his puck handling. This is only exacerbated by the fact that Prudence is now dating a French-Canadian goalie named Jacques "Le Coq Grande (Justin Timberlake), who reportedly earned his nickname by having an enormous hog.
Despite sequences of Justin Timberlake singing Celine Dion songs and trajectory gags involving the word "tabernac, trademarked acronyms and the use of Mariska Hargitays (the Emmy-winning actress from Law & Order: SVU) name as a greeting and a prayer, nothing comes across as genuinely funny. The only mild amusement comes when Myers candidly points out the joke he was just making matter-of-factly. This is most effective in a scene where he and Romany Malco sit in a crowded bar and Myers makes pooping noises into a coffee mug. When he is done he then states to Malco, "I was just making diarrhoea noises into this mug. This is, sadly, as witty as the film gets, often resorting to jokes that involve celebrity tabloid vagina, poop and boogers.
Also, when songs like "Brimful of Asha, Blurs "Song #2 and "More Than Words start crowding the soundtrack, it becomes clear that another major barrier within the film is how dated it is. Back in 1997 when Austin Powers, "Brimful of Asha and "Song #2 were released, this film probably would have succeeded as a fresh and edgy comedy, however, since it is 2008 in a post-Judd Apatow and Tina Fey dominated comedy world, The Love Guru just doesnt fit. Its a retread of the familiar and old.
Those feeling nostalgic about the Austin Powers franchise may want to check this one out but everyone else will likely be disappointed, confused and wondering if they really did just see two elephants have sex in a hockey arena. (Paramount)