The Love Guru Review
It’s been five years since we last saw Mike Myers on the big screen. That was in The Cat in the Hat, and it’s fair to say that it wasn’t critically well received, so the long hiatus was given over to perfect and hone a brand new character that would rival Austin Powers in the public consciousness. With five years to get things just right we should be expecting a fully formed, catchphrase heavy comedy colossus, right? Well actually it's about as far from right as it’s possible to get, as The Love Guru is a comedic shambles of epic proportions.
Myers plays Guru Pitka, a self styled self help guru who is hired by a Canadian ice hockey team to try and solve the romantic problems of its star player so that they can start winning games again. That’s it! There really is nothing else to it. The whole plot is there simply as a device on which to hang a series of long, increasingly banal and crude jokes all revolving around male/female genitalia or bodily functions. And we aren’t talking about good jokes here; we are talking about jokes so old and obvious that you begin to start guessing the punch lines before they even start the gag. Don’t believe me? Try this one for size; Customer to waiter “Bring me a crocodile soup….and make it snappy!!” Just try and remember where you first heard that line, if your brain can delve that deeply into your subconscious.
You have to wonder just what Myers was thinking when he was writing his lame screenplay. It’s as though he hasn’t watched a film in the last ten years and doesn’t realise that the material he is coming out with would even have been rejected by the Carry On crew. To add insult to injury, after every gag Myers mugs to the camera with a self satisfied smirk on his face that makes you want to slap him. This worked to a certain degree with Austin Powers, but he was a character out of his own time acting as though he was still trapped in the sixties. In The Love Guru Pitka is actually American, albeit one who was brought up by a cross eyed monk (Ben Kingsley) from his teens. This brings us to his appearance and voice. As a boy we see him looking quite normal and speaking as a regular American teen, but flash forward to adulthood and his nose seems to have grown into a ridiculous fleshy mound and he now affects a faux Indian accent. Reasons for this are never given; Myers obviously thought that it just added to the hilarity of his film.
It’s impossible to get across just how terrible this film is. Ben Kingsley’s career reaches a nadir that would have been unthought-of a few years ago; Justin Timberlake is made to parade around in skimpy Speedos, a bad perm spouting a comedy French accent; and any film in which Jessica Alba isn’t the worst thing in it has got to have gone terribly wrong.
If you feel the slightest temptation to see this film, either at the cinema or on DVD, do yourself a favour and rent one of the Austin Powers films instead, or better still revisit the criminally underrated “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and ask yourself; where did it all go wrong for Mr Myers?