Tuesday, June 8, 2010

'The Love Guru' should have killed careers

A revised version of this review appears in my forthcoming book 150 Movies You Should (Die Before You) See. The write-up in the book includes, among other things, trivia about the production.

The Love Guru (2008)
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Romany Malco, Manu Narayan, Justin Timberlake, Verne Troyer, John Oliver, Stephen Colbert, and Jim Gaffigan
Director: Marco Schnable
Rating: Two of Ten Stars

Guru Pitka (Myers), a new-age, self-help sensation second only to Deepak Chopra in poplularity and celebrity status, is approached by Jane Bullard (Alba), the owner of a hockey team, to help her resolve relationship problems that are keeping her star player (Malco) from performing properly on the ice.

From the first preview, I thought "The Love Guru" looked like a stupid movie it was best of avoid. As I learned more and saw more clips, I knew it would be a stupid movie that would be a complete waste of time and, at best, barely mildly amusing. It was a film I had a faint interest in, but not one I was likely to ever bother seeing.

But then Rajan Zed, a "Hindu community leader" who rivals Mike Myers' fictional cartoonish Guru Pitka in his hunger for publicity (but who is all-too-real) starting calling for the film to be boycotted and uttering other, even stupider statements.

Well, it's been a long-standing policy of mine that any film or book that is targeted by religious nutjobs gets my financial support, be it crazy Muslims and "The Satanic Verses" or stupid Hindus and "The Love Guru".

Therefore, eventhough I was as certain as I could be without having seen the film that it was going to suck, I went to see "The Love Guru" the day in opened. I saw it so it would do a little better during its opening weekend.

I regretted my decision, as the crapitude of the film almost made me swear off my policy of doing exactly the opposite of what race-hustlers and self-promoters calling for boycotts are demanding. This film was so bad that it deserved to sink like a rock and lose lots and lots of money. It's just too bad that some self-important publicity hound from Nevada who fancies himself the spokesperson for Hindus everywhere then got the idea that it was his boycott that made it fail, not because badly written and unfunny comedy.

There isn't a single joke in the film that doesn't feel forced or isn't repeated so often that it is drained of what little amusement it may have contained when first presented but which becomes painfully obnoxious by the time Myers finally lets go of it. Worse, Myers Guru Pitka character is more slimy than charming and more obnoxious than loveable. There's nothing to like about him, and the way he is constantly chuckling at his own jokes makes the character even more unbearable. (A blooper snippet featuring midget actor Verne Troyer during the end credits offers a off-the-cuff joke that is funnier than anything that's presented in the movie itself.)

The only halfway decent things about the movie are the musical numbers, with the spoofy Bollywood-style music video for "Space Cowboy" that closes film being particularly amusing, Stephen Colbert's performance as the world's worst color commentator, and the fact that Jessica Alba doesn't try to act in the movie but is instead just here to look pretty. And, man, can she look pretty!

Even if you're the biggest Mike Myers fan on the planet, you're going to regret seeing this one.


  1. I liked all the scenes with Verne Troyer. that's about it; this movie stank.

  2. I don't agree at all...here's my review


  3. It could very well be some of the humor escapes me--I'm not Indian--but I'm glad to see we at least agree on the merits of Jessica Alba!