I’m all outta ‘Love’


Since Mike Myers latest abomina… I mean, character, “The Love Guru,” is rather fond of acronyms for followers in his self-help dynasty, let me sum up his film accordingly. Those expecting even the slightest twinkle of comedy from “Wayne’s World” or “Austin Powers” are in for a lot of “Crotch References and Agonizing Puns.”

If you are a big fan of “Funnies from Anally Released Thunder” jokes or a focus on “Woefully Aggrandizing Narcissism Guffaws,” then “The Love Guru” is right down your darkened alley.

In fact, anything below the belt is the go-to source of snickers for Myers here. With the subtlety of a toddler discovering his genitalia for the first time, Myers seems fixated south of the equator, offering more crotch-centric comedy in 90 minutes than Adam Sandler’s entire résumé.

Myers star as the eponymous self-help expert with aspirations on becoming America’s next top spiritual advisor.

To do this, he must appear on Oprah like his rival, Deepak Chopra. And to do this, he must reunite a hockey player with his estranged wife. It should be noted that the athlete is played by Romany Malco, a black comedian, because, you know, a black man playing hockey is apparently hilarious in Myers comedy playbook.

The team is owned by one Jane Bullard (played with tapioca intensity by one Jessica Alba), who Pitka warms up to in a romantic way.

Pitka lives a comfortable life in his Los Angeles ashram. Pitka an American child raised (for no real apparent reason) by an Eastern guru (Ben Kingley, accepting another role that serves as steel brush to polish that Oscar of his). The master is cross eyed (for no real apparent reason) and his name is Tugginmypudha. If your knees are red from slapping them after reading that last name, again, run to the theater a get your ticket.

Pitka is given a chastity belt (for no real apparent reason) only to serve as a gag involving a clanging sound every time he achieves an erection.

He greets everyone with the mantra (for no real apparent reason) “Mariska Hartgitay.” By the way, you’ll never guess who shows up for a cameo!

To Ms. Hargitay’s parents’ credit, at least her name has some thought behind it (it means “bitter” in Herbrew). Myers, who also co-wrote the film, litters it with less-inventive names such as Dick Pants and Coach Cherkov (seriously, Mike, were you even trying?).

The latter character is played by Myer’s “Austin Powers” co-star, diminutive actor Verne Troyer. He’s cast for no other reason than for Myers to squeeze out whatever little person jokes that didn’t fit in the “Powers” films.

I have stated in my column before that I am no prude and do enjoy an occasional wallow into the muddy waters of crude humor. But, honestly, “The Love Guru” is one school grade away from using a comeback of “doody-head” as a punchline.

Myers’ character is tested in that he has to learn to love himself before others, but that does not seem to be a problem for the actor himself. Shamelessly mugging, laughing at all his own jokes and flailing like a sleep-deprived child mid-tantrum, calling Myers a ham would be a disservice to the pork industry.

First-time director Marco Schnabel does little more than point and shoot, allowing scenes (and Myers) to go on much longer than necessary.

The other truly odd vibe of “Guru” is its presumption of intended audience members (boys under age of the PG-13 rating, or adults with an IQ of 13) have actually seen a Bollywood muscial, read a Deepak Chopra book or even fondly remember hair-metal band Extreme’s music video to their power ballad “More Than Words” (it’s better not to even ask about that last one).

This derision all comes from the saddened heart of a Myers fan — someone who found the original “Austin Powers” and “Wayne’s World” hilarious and who still recalls with a smile several of the perfomer’s “Saturday Night Live” skits.

But there is little to smile about in “Guru.” For even if you remove all the references to fetid bodily functions, you are still left with a “Totally Underwhelming and Rancid Diversion.”

~ by usesoapfilm on June 22, 2008.

3 Responses to “I’m all outta ‘Love’”

  1. Did you catch Myers’s interview on The Daily Show? It was really awkward. A lot of forced laughs and ongoing jokes that go on for way too long.

  2. Yeah, and did you notice how many times he talked about ‘The Love Guru’? Aside from the clip, a big fat Zero. Very telling.

  3. Yep. And Stuart even said Zohad was good. This must have been awful.

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