Theatrical Review: The Love Guru

The renowned spiritual guru, Guru Pitka, has found himself always being the second best to the famous Deepak Chopra and now he’s got the opportunity to turn things around and get himself his appearance on Oprah, thus elevating himself above the aforementioned Mr. Chopra. All the Guru Pitka has to do is help the hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, with their star player, Darren Roanoke. Roanoke’s girl, Prudence has left him and left him as a shaken player. Pitka’s task is right in front of him and along the way he’s hoping to catch the fancy of the team’s owner, the uber-sexy Jane Bullard.

The Love Guru is the latest film from writer and star Mike Myers, who’s obviously best known for being on Saturday Night Live, the Wayne’s World films and the Austin Powers movies and the Guru Pitka is his latest character.

I’ve got to give Mike Myers credit for creating something pretty original here as far as the character goes, I certainly don’t recall anything like this out there recently anyway.

The movie has it’s moments, some that are actually really funny, but for the most part, it falls pretty flat. Part of this is with the main character, Pitka, himself, who’s constantly winking at the audience, and thus kind of staying detached from the whole thing. The other part is just that the actions them self are just displayed in an order like they’re something to be hit as opposed to happening naturally. There’s also an over-reliance on bathroom humor, again some of which is quite funny, but a lot of it just falling flat.

Some of the segments that consistently fall flat for me are bits with the announcers for the Maple Leafs played by Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan. They’re trying too hard and there’s just too many of these segments in the film and none of them really work.

Funnier stuff is there courtesy of Verne Troyer, who has the best line in the film seen right over the end credits.

Jessica Alba is Jane Bullard, and she’s little more than eye candy in the film, which really I don’t have that much of a problem with her in that capacity.

Ben Kingsley and Justin Timberlake are also in the film and they both do a decent enough job with their parts, but it’s still nothing to bust a gut over.

But most of the fault is with the story construction itself and Myers’ portrayal as Pitka without any real sense of urgency to his character, he’s more there just doing a series of set pieces (some of which are good) but there’s really nothing there with a good through-line.

You might have a good time with this, but I’d more advice this as a rental or watching on cable down the road. Overall though, I thought this was pretty uneven with a few good laughs here and there, but nothing that really says run out and see it (but I must admit, they got me with the trailer to this, I thought that the trailer was great and it really made me want to see it), so catch it at your own risk…

About Darren Goodhart

Darren Goodhart is a 44-year old St. Louis-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator (and former comic book artist) who's been seeing movies all his life, but on an almost weekly basis in theatres for the last 20 years and owns nearly 1,000 DVDs for his home theatre. He's learned a lot about film over the 20 year period, and has taken his appreciation beyond the mainstream. His favorite types of film are mostly genre entertainment, but he also enjoys a wide range of drama, action and cult-y stuff from around the world, and is currently re-discovering a love affair with lower budget exploitation and genre films from the 70s and early 80s. He doesn't try to just dismiss any film, but if there's a bias against one, he'll certainly tell you that in the space of his reviews.

21. June 2008 by Darren Goodhart
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