Pitka, an American raised outside of his country by gurus, returns to the States in order to break into the self-help business. His first challenge is to settle the romantic troubles and sub... Read allPitka, an American raised outside of his country by gurus, returns to the States in order to break into the self-help business. His first challenge is to settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player whose wife left him for a rival athlete.Pitka, an American raised outside of his country by gurus, returns to the States in order to break into the self-help business. His first challenge is to settle the romantic troubles and subsequent professional skid of a star hockey player whose wife left him for a rival athlete.
With The Love Guru, you can tell Meyers is trying to create another success along the lines of Austin Powers, but failing miserably. The thing about Austin Powers was despite being a dumb comedy, the movie had a likable, fun protagonist. In Meyer's latest outing, we get the Guru Pitka, a Charles Manson look-alike who has an obsession with penises. It's somewhat fitting that he resembles Charles Manson, a notorious cult leader, as by the movies end I had a strange urge to kill myself. Not only is the Guru creepy, he's also very unfunny. Whether he's making lame puns about "life" or talking about penises, he never manages to elicit any laughs whatsoever. It could be that his jokes are just bad. Certainly using jokes straight out of a children's joke book isn't a recipe for success. It could also be the fact that Meyers is so desperate for a laugh, he himself laughs at every joke and continuously looks at the audience, attempting to entice them to laugh along with him. You get the sense that he realizes the jokes are unfunny and the glances at the audience are his last failed attempts at getting a few laughs. Guru Pitka's character development just adds injury to the insult. One minute Pitka is being hailed as a spiritual healer who lives to help people and the next minute he's insulting a midget for no particular reason. There's no consistency to the character at all, which is what this movie is missing in comparison to Meyer's last few. Wayne Campbell and Austin Powers felt like real characters, where the Guru doesn't really have any character; he randomly does whatever moves the plot along forward.
Speaking of plot, the storyline is almost as ill-conceived as the title character. A stupid plot in a comedy is acceptable if it manages to be funny, but there's nothing amusing about a Guru's quest to go on the Oprah show. That's just plain stupid. It would help if the film wasn't filled with every cliché ever known to cinema-goers, but it is. The Guru has a self-revelation at the end and changes his greedy ways. The good guys triumph. And of course, Blur's "Song 2" plays during one of the hockey sequences, which has become the most commonly used (and groan-inducing) tune for any sports-related film.
Even if you can put aside the annoyingness of the Guru Pitka, the movie still fails to deliver anything remotely funny. The most common joke is to have a characters name resemble something vulgar, such as "Dick Pants" or some other Grade 3 level joke. The next most common is the Guru's constant repeating of "TM" after one of his catchphrases. It wasn't funny the first time, what made Meyers think it would be funny the tenth or fifteenth? There's also the repetition of jokes from Austin Powers, ranging from the plane to even the casting of Verne Troyer, the midget who made one of his only popular appearances in the Powers films as Mini-Me. Finally, there are the gags that are just plain lame. These involve elephants humping each other, the Guru wearing a chastity belt, the Guru having a battle using mops soaked in urine, the Guru sticking his head up his own ass (which is actually far less funny than it sounds), the Guru getting punched in the groin, the Guru doing battle with a rooster and the Guru engaging in two very long song and dance numbers on the Sitar, one a rendition of Dolly Parton's "9 to 5", the other a ear-splitting variation on "Space Cowboy" by Steve Miller Band. Both are in there for no particular reason whatsoever (and I really do hope it wasn't for laughs).
The other actors are fairly bad, although they really don't have much to work with. Jessica Alba continues her tradition of playing practically the same exact character, giggling and acting ditsy. Justin Timberlake is atrocious as Jacque Grande, although to be fair, his character was a one-note joke about Quebecois people. I'm bemused that Meyers would think Americans would find a joke about a people they likely know little about funny, especially when I didn't find it funny and I'm a Canadian. Verne Troyer just proves that the only reason he has even a semblance of a career is because of the novelty that he's a midget.
It really is hard to describe how utterly bad The Love Guru is. It's a stupid comedy, yes, but I'm a fan of those. I'm the guy who gave You Don't Mess With the Zohan a positive rating, so if anything this should be right up my alley. Instead, it's the worst movie of the year for sure (leaving Meet the Spartans way behind in its dust) and has reached it's place, for me at least, as the worst movie ever created. It's painfully unfunny and left me in a sour mood for a good hour after viewing. I'd rather wear a chastity belt for 30 years like the Guru rather than sit through this pile of crud.
- Jun 20, 2008