Reviewed by GREG KING.
Director: Marco Schnabel
Stars: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, Ben Kingsley, Verne Troyer, Meagan Good, John OliverOmid Djalili, Stephen Colbert, Jim Gaffigan, Telma Hopkins, Val Kilmer, Jessica Simpson, Mariska Hargitay, Deepak Chopra, Kanye West, Rob Blake.
Offensive on so many levels, Mike Myers’ first live action film in several years is a self-indulgent mess. It is also an absolute stinker!
Given the box office success of his Austin Powers and Shrek series, Myers has obviously been granted carte blanche to create his own movies. Unfortunately it seems that Myers’ main brief in creating this unfunny and terribly lame comedy was to see how many dick, poo, homophobic jokes, bad taste puns, double entendres, and stupid names he could cram into 90 minutes. However, it’s hard to imagine that even the most easily pleased adolescent males at whom this puerile, scatological exercise is aimed could find much to laugh at here. Even the old Carry On movies with their sly “nudge nudge wink wink” style of humour were funnier and wittier than this barrage of smutty toilet humour.
Myers hams it up unforgivably here as Guru Pitka, a self-styled “love guru” and self-help spiritual leader to the stars, who runs his own ashram in LA. He is hired by Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), the manager of an ice hockey team to try and save the marriage of her star player (Romany Malco) and turn the team’s ailing fortunes around in time for the finals playoffs.
Myers has hired first time director Marco Schnabel, second unit director on Meet The Fockers, etc, who has worked on a couple of the comedian’s previous movies, to direct. But it is pretty obvious that the actor himself is calling the shots behind the camera, when he really needed somebody capable of reeling in his excesses and penchant for juvenile humour. Myers addresses many of his tasteless puns straight at the audience, a device that quickly becomes tiresome.
And his old Austin Powers diminutive co-star Verne Troyer (best known as Mini Me) appears as the coach of the ice hockey team. He’s a good sport at least and allows himself to be the butt of numerous jokes at his expense. Alba gets to keep her clothes on for a change, but otherwise it’s hard to see what attracted her to this fairly bland role. And whatever possessed Ben Kingsley to take up his thankless, awful role as Pitka’s mentor Guru Tugginmypudha. I hope that the pay cheque was worth the potential embarrassment and damage his reputation suffers as a result of his appearance here.
There are also a pair of dimwitted sports announcers (played by Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan) who make wildly inappropriate remarks on the sidelines, and reveal their ignorance of the sport. But this clever idea was also done much better in Best In Show.
Only Justin Timberlake, camping it up wonderfully in a role written especially for him, emerges from this turgid mess with his dignity relatively intact.
Such is Myers’ clout within the industry though that he has been able to attract a veritable cast of B-list celebrities (including Val Kilmer, Jessica Simpson, etc) to debase themselves by contributing brief cameos, hoping to lend credibility to the guru’s presence.
The Love Guru is an early contender for the dubious honour of the year’s worst film. This is another case of a potentially good idea being totally ruined when a comic’s enormous ego gets in the way. Those with longer memories, who remember when Myers was actually funny, may want to give this one a wide berth!