The Love Guru (2008)
Written by Mike Myers and Graham Gordy
Directed by Marco Schnabel
Sometimes I ask myself why I am doing this marathon, why I am making myself sit through such revolting movies. This is probably the worst one I’ve watched so far, and that’s after last week’s Dragonball: Evolution debacle. I would say that Mike Myers was an actor I enjoyed once. I love the Wayne’s World movies and think So I Married An Axe Murderer is his best picture. Shrek always left me lukewarm but was forgivable. Austin Powers was silly and inoffensive, and I definitely laughed quite a bit at the first two. Riding high off the successes of all of these pictures led us to The Love Guru, a movie that just hits the same handful of jokes over and over without ever being funny.
Guru Pitka continually lives in the shadow of the much more successful Deepak Chopra. His dream is to appear on Oprah Winfrey’s show and rise to prominence. The chance comes when the Toronto Maple Leafs star player Darren Roanoke is suffering from a mental break after Prudence, his wife leaves him for his rival, Jacques “Le Coq” Grande. Pitka rushes to Canada to help rehabilitate the player while also falling for the Leafs’ owner Jane Bullard. Comedy hijinks allegedly ensue.
So there are five jokes in the entire movie. First, you have the titles of Pitka’s books, which are all meant to be ironically funny. Second, you have jokes about bodily functions. Then, there are the dick jokes. Next, jokes about Verne Troyer being small. Finally, the worst, which are the jokes about Indian names. Sir Benjamin Kingsley plays Pitka’s mentor Guru Tugginmypuda, get it? These four jokes are all the movie has, and it plays them over and over ad nauseam. Hey, doesn’t Grande have a comically large penis? Hey, isn’t Coach Cherkov (Troyer) really small? Hey, isn’t this Indian name funny sounding? Ugh.
To make things even worse is the glaring fact that The Love Guru is only 86 minutes long. It is not always true, but films that have sub-90 minute runtimes are often garbage. Not always, but often. This is commonly a sign that they tried to fix the picture in editing by cutting chunks out. In the case of The Love Guru, they appear to have cut significant parts of the narrative out. When Guru Pitka shows up at Grande’s house to give Prudence a letter, she is not shocked at all to see him. It’s established that he is semi-famous, but even if she recognized him from television or media, her response plays like she has seen him somewhere else recently. There’s probably a deleted scene where this happens. The producers decided to cut the narrative that gave the story some sort of coherence to put more “jokes” in the film.
The conflicts in the film are almost non-existent. Roanoke is revealed to have a phobia associated with his mom’s judgmental attitude. Yet, his problems are supposed to stem from his wife leaving him. I suspect this is the case of blending two drafts of the script without resolving the inconsistencies. So the movie suddenly shifts to this unresolved tension between Roanoke and his mother. It becomes a plot point when Grande brings Roanoke’s mother to the final game of the Stanley Cup. Oh no, how will they resolve this? Roanoke’s mother says she is sorry for being tough on him, and he’s okay. That’s it. The conflict is literally resolved in seconds.
The Love Guru is an insipid film, a monument to the laziest excuse for a comedy. I have no problem with toilet humor or sex comedy, but at least it should be funny. The repetition is what kills me, just the same joke with a different veneer delivered over and over in the hopes that this time, the audience will laugh. Pitka wears a chastity belt, and his erection hitting the metal undergarment is done at least four times throughout the 86 minute picture. It wasn’t funny the first time, and it doesn’t get more amusing by the fourth. This is one film that truly deserves to be forgotten and ignored.