Status: In theaters (opened 6/20/08)
Directed By: Marco Schnabel
Written By: Mike Myers & Graham Gordy
Cinematographer: Peter Deming
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Romany Malco, Justin Timberlake
It’s hard to drum up much energy to write a full review for a movie like The Love Guru, one whose writers obviously didn’t bother putting much energy into its script. In fact, the amount of laziness exhibited in every aspect of this film is enough to lose every conceivable potential audience.
The plot is so thin, it is literally presented and set up in its entirety in the 5 minutes or so that precede the opening credits sequence. Even the paper-thin love story, between Mike Myers and Jessica Alba, has absolutely zero development: upon their first meeting, Jane (Alba) essentially tells the Guru Pitka (Myers) that she has a crush on him, and they agree that they will pursue their romance as soon as their silly task at hand is completed. Said task is reuniting the star of the Toronto Maple Leafs–owned by Alba’s character–with his wife. Said star, Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco, wasted yet again) hasn’t been playing well ever since his wife started sleeping with Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake), who is notorious for having a huge schlong. (Get it? “Le Coq”? Yeah, that’s as clever as it gets.)
There are some funny parts in this movie, but they are disappointingly infrequent and limited. A lot of the gags are based on toilet humor of the most juvenile kind. Ben Kingsley, for instance, plays an embarrassing role as Pitka’s cross-eyed trainer, where he teaches his students, um, something by having them battle with urine-soaked mops. If you weren’t paying close enough attention just now, I gave away two big jokes. Here’s another one: Pitka’s “clever” means of buying time at the end of the film’s climactic hockey game is to have two elephants go at it on the ice. We might be able to overlook the several layers of implausibility and sheer ridiculousness if this were actually funny, but instead it just drags on for a douchechill-inducing amount of time.
Most of the running jokes in the film are just as stupid. Pitka loves making everything into an acronym, but none of them are funny or particularly clever. There are multiple attempts to goof on the Indian concept of the “third eye” that just come off as weird, as do the brief forays into spoofing those Indian music videos that we’ve all seen on the internet.
Basically this whole movie just feels thrown together, based on a flimsy idea that probably never was enough to fill a full feature-length film in the first place. If Myers were still on Saturday Night Live, it might have made a decent sketch. As it stands, it’s a largely unfunny movie with some chuckles here and there amidst an absurd story that never really goes anywhere.