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Friday, August 08, 2008

Movie Review: The Love Guru

Mike Myers isn't a film guru, unfortunately.


RATING: 2.5/5


I haven’t had the greatest impression of The Love Guru before actually watching this film in the cinema – no thanks to the less than stellar trailers and one of the dumbest posters ever to be used as a promotional material. A suggestion by my friend to have a go at this film over the latest action film Journey to the Center of the Earth proved fatal as I stared at the screen in disbelief for 1.5 hours at how this movie managed to be so stale, uninspiring and stupid - as far as the jokes about male genitals are concerned, at least.

The Love Guru details the few days of Guru Pitka’s (Mike Myers) life as he travels from his hometown in India to the other side of the globe (America, to be exact) with a mission to aid Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) in saving his marriage with Prudence Roanoke (Meagan Good) from L.A. Kings star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake) so that Darren can get back to his best and help Toronto Maple Leafs win the Stanley Cup. During his ‘adventure’, however, he also becomes sexually attracted to his one of his employers, Toronto Maple Leafs owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba). To fulfill his dream of having his chastity belt removed so that he can truly love Jane, he must help those in need – which means he must accomplish his mission at all cost.

A smile worth staring.

If there’s anything good to be said about this film, it’s the plot, which may seem outwardly ridiculous and silly, but is actually quite interesting. Guru Pitka was born in America, but was abandoned at the gates of an ashram in India when he was still a baby. For the decades after, Pitka would be raised and cared for in India, making him to be more of an Indian than an American. Certainly, this is a creative way to inject some unique culture and personality into Myers' character – that of a Native Indian – something that has rarely seen the light at the end of the tunnel in Hollywood. And credit must be given to Myers for researching the culture and personality of the archetypal Indian thoroughly and channeling that research into the realistic portrayal of Pitka – complete with some really impressive Bollywood-esque song and dance sequences. The essence of the character was captured and the depiction of Pitka shines throughout the entire movie.

But beyond that, this movie is clearly second-rate. For other films, ‘a few decent laughs’ may actually be a good indication, but for The Love Guru, which is supposed to be an all-out comedy, the aforementioned phrase may not be enough. The humor in this movie may only turn out in these 3 ways: Words like Bible and Drama get turned into funny acronyms (What does each of the alphabets in ‘Bible’ represent? Yes, it’s funny, it’s one of the better jokes in this film, but you would have to find it out for yourself!). The male’s sexual organs are more often than not, the receiving end of the jokes. And lastly, humor is expressed via the conventional acting.

I am more or less satisfied with the humor told through acronyms. While there are some that are barely comprehensible, some are imaginative and will be sure to tickle your funny bone. On the other hand, jokes about cock and balls are relatively stale – haven’t we already heard about them in Austin Powers? But the bigger problem is that these jokes sound so infantile – so much so that they set me wondering whether the script was written by kids. A couple of jokes about genitals are fine, but it becomes disastrous when they are scattered generously throughout the whole movie. These overused jokes become really predictable, distasteful, unappealing and annoying – yeah, perhaps Mike Myers is obsessed about cock and balls, but sorry, the general public is not. Fortunately, the humor conveyed through action (ala Mr. Bean) is more inventive. Myers definitely needs to have more of this type of humor in his future films because almost always, jokes in this category stir up more laughter.

Final Comments
If not for The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, this film would have been the worst movie I have seen this year – so far. While Mike Myers played his character with utmost competency, most of the humor in this film leaves much to be desired. The plot is interesting, but for an all-out comedy, this film just won’t cut it. The jokes involving acronyms and action are fine, but jokes about the male genitals are clearly recycled from Myers’ previous films, and they are infantile, predictable, distasteful, unappealing and annoying. Yeah, that’s 5 negative adjectives – and they are the only justified way to describe how retarded the jokes about cock and balls really are. Unfortunately, these jokes occupy much of the humor in the film – which means big portions of the film aren’t funny. The other notable stars in this film, Jessica Alba and Justin Timberlake, portrayed their respective characters appropriately, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for outstanding performances – because they are not.


Blogger Angel said...

Well, I agree. This movie is not as good as other Mike Myers film. I was able to watched it in HD quality @ and there are some parts that made me bored. I like Mike, but in this movie, I guess it's a blah for him. I laughed at some parts though. I'll rate this movie hmmm 3 out of 5.

10:36 PM


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