Do you remember Mike Myers? That man who made the hilarious and down-to-earth comedy Wayne’s World and the crazy spy parody Austin Powers that won us all over? Well I suggest that you hold on to that memory and lock it tight inside you, and if you see a poster with a beardy guy who looks like him with The Love Guru written on it just run away and forget you ever saw it. This movie is the death knell of his comedy career, and to such an extent that it may even sully the memories of his long-departed comedy classics.
I think the crux of the problem is just that he has run out of comedy material and has no idea how to flesh out his ideas. The movie is an attempted mockery of the American importing of Eastern guru wisdom that sees Myers reprise the lead role as Guru Pitka, an American educated in India by Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley). He wants to be the best Guru in the states and to do so has to coach Toronto Maple Leafs star Darren Roanoake (Romany Malco) through some life problems in order to get on Oprah and win the acclaim he deserves.
Accompanied by such stupidly named subsidiary actors as Coach Cherkov, (sounds like Jerk off! Get it?), Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (he has a large penis! Hee hee!), Dick Pants (he’s… oh forget it) the film meanders its way through the most persistent and unfunny series of gross-out gags ever collated in a single screen. In fact I suspect that, in order to scrape some sort of achievement out of this hideous movie, Myers has personally applied to the Guiness Book of World Records for the most jokes about bodily discharge per minute.
Just to be clear, let me summarise the 5 joke formats available:
1. ‘His name sounds like…’ See above for examples.
2. ‘That man is different from me!’ Basically a series of Canadian, Midget and Hindu stereotypes.
3. ‘I know I’m in a movie, aren’t I smart’ Myers alludes to a film convention, then pulls a face at the camera.
4. ‘Our bodies are HILARIOUS!’ Penis, vagina, poo, ass, whizz. Laughing yet? No? You must be crazy…
If the poor selection of gags available and the death of a comedy legend aren’t enough to put you off of seeing this movie the consider this: Jessica Alba AND Justin Timberlake are in it too. Not just one of them, but BOTH! Sweet mother of mercy Myers why must you try and torture us so?? You’d think that he’d realise that these are two celebrities that constantly attach themselves to the most pitiful projects to be spewed forth from the Hollywood Studios. Awake, Alpha Dog, Fantastic Four, Shrek the Third – there were really plenty of signs that these two are the Hollywood equivalent of seeing vultures circling overhead as someone crawls through the desert, or ravens calling out in the dead of night as a frightened person flees through the darkness, when you notice these things you just expect the worst.
Myers always had an eye for the odd incisive observation of the mock-worthy, the little things in life that’re just amusing. His knowing commentary on film formats is usually a treat, his mockery was once kind and playful, and his toilet humour a reminder that we all enjoy the odd puerile joke now and then. But this film lays the latter on so thick that it smothers the potential for genuine observational humour. What’s more, the promising idea that lies within a mockery of the post-hippie turn to the pseudo-gurus that mill around wealthy western enclaves is completely wasted. If he’d put a little more thought into the framework for the movie instead of just pouncing on what he knows: ice-hockey, Canada and gross-out jokes, he could’ve cemented his place among the comedy elite of Hollywood, instead he has sunk to a new low from which he’s going to find it incredibly difficult to recover.
This article was first posted on July 30, 2008