REVIEW: The Love Guru [2008]

“Mariska Hargitay”

I’ve always been told that if you have nothing good to say, don’t say anything at all. So, I have to tell you all the best parts of the new Michael Myers vehicle, The Love Guru. You’ve got one really funny joke about Guru Pitka’s mom getting a job that kills even though it was in the trailer, Stephen Colbert finally hits one out of the park as a robot cyborg after failing three previous times to elicit any laughs, Jessica Alba is gorgeous as always if you overlook her atrocious acting abilities, and Justin Timberlake shows he has no shame and steals every single second of screentime he is given. If Jacques “le coq” Grande had his own film, I’d pay to see it. Being that he is included in one that relies on physical humor, asinine wordplay, sexual innuendo, and Myers making a complete idiot of himself as he kills the funny out of every only slightly funny gag he does, Timberlake becomes the only reason I can say it was worth going to a free preview. The Love Guru is quite possibly the worst film I have ever seen and once I’m done writing this review I am going to crawl into bed and cry as I remember So I Married an Axe Murderer and the times when Myers could do no wrong (thanks for the Wayne’s World callback Mike, you actually made me realize how inferior this film is more).

There is truly no point in describing a plot because there isn’t one. The film exists as a series of set-pieces allowing Myers to act up his schtick and try to cause uproarious laughter in the audience. Besides some faint giggles at the fact that Myers himself smiles and winks at the camera, telling us he just told a joke, there is not too much to go on here. Sure there is a ton of uncomfortable laughter and gasps of awe at the wordplay—“can’t face” said real fast to sound like…ahem—that you are shocked to hear in a PG-13 film, but does that really make you think the this was a success? I mean, the main focus is supposed to be the idea that Pitka has been hired to get the star player on the Toronto Maple Leafs back with his ex-girlfriend so that his hockey skills will return and win his owner, the second generation of a cursed family, “Stanley’s Cup”. You almost believe this thread has some merit until the resolution is glossed over quickly and rectified without the bat of an eye. The thing is held together by concert interludes of Myers singing in his way over-the-top Indian accent for entire songs. Can you say filler? (Although I will admit, “More Than Words” was fantastic, especially the visual nods to the actual Extreme video.)

I might be wrapping this review up quickly to rest. My neck has some pain from too much shaking out of embarrassment for those collecting their paychecks on the screen. You could literally see the ca-ching dollar signs popping out of their eyeballs with every awkward moment. Some of the sight gags were funny, the first time they were used. I enjoyed the motorized magic carpet, the utter stupidity of Verne Troyer’s office being half size, and the “Kelestrator” of course, (I wonder why they didn’t TM that one). Admittedly, though, this is not my kind of comedy. While I enjoy a good low-brow laughfest like the next guy, I still would rather have a somewhat decently constructed story, something this tale lacks completely. Had the gags been separated and shown on a tv skit show, I might be calling them genius, however, when you string them together with the only common denominator being that the same characters are used, it gets old fast. Unfortunately, this film will work for a good chuck of America, but I just can’t condone the spending of millions of dollars on something so trite and unenjoyable as this packaged and sold mess.

Now I don’t want to leave Timberlake as the only good thing here. That would be doing a disservice to Manu Narayan who played Myers’ assistant. With spot-on timing and perfect facial expressions, it was good to see someone having fun playing off of the grotesque guru. A nice companion, he actually makes Pitka better each time they are doing a skit together. I’m not really sure what to say about Myers himself. On one hand, he totally commits to this character and must be given credit for that fact. The problem is, though, that the role itself is paper-thin and very, very tiresome. As for Romany Malco, our second lead—although he got the shaft of no top-billing—he does well for what he has been given. Come on man, you were in the amazing 40-Year Old Virgin and have a hit tv show “Weeds” for which you are a big part of its success. Please take the time to do some work that has merit. I mean, wow, who’d have thought I’d be saying Get Smart might be your best movie option this weekend.

Oh, and Ben Kingsley…can I have a word? I am going to have to take away your knighthood. Yes, I know how much you like it and how hard you worked to achieve the title, but I can’t allow someone with as little self respect as you keep the “Sir”. Why, oh why, would you continue to do drivel like this? You are an Academy Award winning thespian. I can only hope The Wackness is as good as it seems so you may redeem a little bit of that respect in my eyes.

The Love Guru 1/10 | ½


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