Once again, Mike Myers has donned a bad accent and equally repugnant wig for an excuse to cram as much sexual innuendo in a feature film as possible. In his latest comedy film, The Love Guru, Myers is the Guru Pitka, credited for being an expert on love. He has been tapped by the Toronto Maple Leafs to cure the love life of their star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) who is unable to win the Stanley Cup without his wife in the crowd. His wife (Meagan Good) has left him for legendary goalie Jacques “Le Coq” Grande, who has gotten his nickname for having the largest, er, rooster in hockey. And so the Guru and Roanoke go about getting “Le Coq” out of the picture in time to kiss Lord Stanley’s Cup.
All the steps of Myers’ love advice serve as thinly veiled lead-ins to unnecessary scenes such as Myers getting beaten up by a pet rooster, and Myers and Malco getting into a bar fight with a pair of rednecks. In fact, the entire plot is a thin film to cover disconnected scenes that produce only a few intermittent chuckles.
The Love Guru is padded with flashbacks of Myers as a young boy in guru training in India. Myers seems particularly in love with himself as some obviously bad CG pastes his head on the body of a ten-year-old. How an orphaned young white kid ended up in India is completely glossed over in favor of making more sexual jokes, including an elaborate chastity belt with an elephant’s head and trunk for appropriate decoration.
Sadly, Myers’ constant mugging for the camera by scrunching his silly smile directly at the audience after every one-liner is actually not the worst performance. That award will have to go to Jessica Alba who plays owner of the hockey team Jane Bullard. Alba is wholly unconvincing when delivering lines about how she cannot get a date because her hockey team is cursed. With her little hot-girl pout she laments that she cannot find someone in Toronto because the entire city hates her for not delivering a Stanley Cup in the last 10 years. As though anyone in the audience would believe that a woman of her physical attributes couldn’t find at least one eligible bachelor that isn’t obsessed with hockey.
And so she turns her attentions on Myers, another forced plot element that is used only to lead to more bad sexual innuendo, this time in a scene as Myers’ butler prepares a dish for the courting couple that looks exactly like a man’s cash and prizes. On that note, “Le Coq,” played by Justin Timberlake, is possibly the only truly funny character, with a pompous attitude and love of Celine Dion that could only come from French Canada.
I would spend a moment to go over the myriad midget jokes that plague poor Vern Troyer, but the previews have done that for me. Troyer has been added to the film only so that midget jokes from Austin Powers can be beaten further into the ground. In fact, this movie would have been much better if they had simply made Austin Powers 4. At least Powers, as a character, was a likable guy. Guru Pitka is not only self-obsessed, but he’s a terrible follower of Hindu faith; eating meat and delighting in wealth and power, seeking only to beat out Deepak Chopra for the title of World’s #1 guru.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, there are one or two quick jokes that elicited laughter, most notably the titles of Myers’ books that the guru is always shilling. Favorite among those are “Does it hurt when you do that? Don’t do that” and “Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Why are you still hitting yourself? ” Yes, the jokes that you haven’t laughed at since you were a fifth grader and not just smarter than one are the best The Love Guru has to offer.
For those who enjoy celebrity cameos and cheap sex jokes, The Love Guru is probably a fun little romp. But moviegoers looking for more than just slapstick humor will walk away disappointed. It’s the kind of filler flick that adds background noise to your house cleaning. If you’ve got an itch to spend $9.50 an average ticket costs these days, you’d be better off killing time watching The Incredible Hulk smash things up.
– Jennifer Von Freeden