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Movie Review: The Love Guru

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Studio: Spyglass/Paramount

Release date: June 20, 2008

Cast: Mike Myers (x 4), Jessica Alba, Romany

Malco, Justin Timberlake, Meagan Good, Verne Troyer, Manu Narayan, Ben

Kingsley, Omid Djalili, Telma Hopkins

Special appearances: Kanye West, Jessica

Simpson, Deepak Chopra, Mariska Hargitay

 

D.R.A.M.A. is the name of the game for Guru Pitka:

Distraction, Regression, Adjustment, Maturity and Action.  

 

In Mike Myers’ new comedy The Love Guru, it’s his character Guru Pitka’s mission to save a

flailing relationship between two lovers in trouble. It sounds simple enough,

but in this ensemble of quirky characters, the Guru has his work cut out for

him.

 

The key words to remember if you’re going to see

this film are the first two letters of Guru Pitka’s DRAMA philosophy –

Distraction and Regression. As a grown, intelligent person, it’s immediately

easy to turn up your nose at the potty jokes, naughty names (when pronounced

correctly) and other genitalia-related humor suited for a nine-year-old.

 

But allow yourself to Regress, and it’s actually

not so hard to find a few good laughs in The

Love Guru.

 

The story centers around Toronto Maple Leafs owner

Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and the team’s star player Darren Roanoke (Romany

Malco) – aka the “Tiger Woods of Hockey”- as he hits a losing streak when his

wife Prudence (Meagan Good) falls for rival Jaques “Le Coq” Grandé (Justin

Timberlake).

 

Of course, Jane enlists Guru Pitka to save the day,

however the Guru’s initial intentions for taking the job are not as pure as his

teachings from Guru Tugginmypuddah (Ben Kingsley). Say his name out loud… you’ll

get it.

 

With other character names like Guru

Satchabigknoba and Dick Pants, Mike Myers’ screenplay is riddled with some real

groiners…er…groaners, yet successfully manages to make light of the big

business of “spiritual enlightenment.” If you’ve seen any of the Austin Powers movies, then you already

know what he’s capable of when it comes to making subtle social commentary

within his silliness.

 

Romany Malco, who made us all laugh as the wild

advice-giving friend in The 40-Year-Old

Virgin, gives a decent performance as the earnest sports star with the

mommy complex. And his mom, played by veteran actress Telma Hopkins, is no

joke.  Meagan Good gets yet another good

girl role as Prudence, but she manages to keep a straight face through her

scenes with Justin Timberlake, who is really a standout ham in this movie.

 

Verne Troyer is believable as the cranky Coach

Cherkov (yeah, say it out loud), as is the pleasant Manu Narayan as Pitka’s loyal,

level-headed assistant Rajneesh. Ben Kingsley is kind of disturbing in his role

as Pitka’s cross-eyed mentor (he was Ghandi after all), while Jessica Alba is mostly

likeable as the self-doubting rich girl. And her Bollywood spoof in the film is

strange, yet delightful.  

 

Unfortunately, by the time you add in dozens of

the aforementioned silly jokes, a few self-indulgent musical performances from

Myers (which I actually enjoyed), and a couple of random elephant scenes, there

are plenty of reasons for critics to hate this movie. In fact, I may have

laughed more at some of the current reviews than I did at the movie itself.

 

The difference is, however, that my laughter at

the reviews was more because I relate to the “I’m too old for this sh*t”

attitude of the reviewers; while laughing through The Love Guru made me feel good… and oddly enough, enlightened.

 

Is this a movie for the family? Probably, because

most of the dirty jokes will go over the little ones’ heads and they can still

enjoy the movie – which means mom and dad can take a breather. Is it a good

date movie? Probably not, because potty jokes aren’t that romantic. Is it a

good matinee flick to take a break from the ills of the world for some Distraction

and Regression? Definitely.

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