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  Publicity Stills of
"The Love Guru"
(Courtesy from UIP)

Director: Marco Schnabel
Cast: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Ben Kingsley, Meagan Good, John Oliver, Verne Troyer, Romany Malco, Jim Gaffigan
RunTime: 1 hr 28 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: NC-16 (Sexual Humour)
Official Website: http://www.theloveguru.com/

Opening Day: 7 August 2008


In the comedy, "The Love Guru" (Myers), Pitka is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. He moves back to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Malco) and his estranged wife. After the split, Roanoke's wife starts dating L.A. Kings star Jacques Grande (Timberlake) out of revenge, sending her husband into a major professional skid -- to the horror of the teams' owner Jane Bullard (Alba) and Coach Cherkov (Troyer). Pitka must return the couple to marital nirvana and get Roanoke back on his game so the team can break the 40-year-old "Bullard Curse" and win the Stanley Cup.

Movie Review:

Mike Myers returns to the big screen after lending his voice to the big green ogre Shrek, during which time it would not be impossible to imagine he would be somewhere in South Asia researching this guru role for a comeback film. Did it succeed? Unfortunately, Myers would discover that being a guru isn't easy at all, especially a jokey one with plenty of unoriginal thought, and that hiding behind a digitally animated creation would be much easier.

Similar to its predecessor before it, The Guru in 2002 starring Jimi Mistry also took the mickey out of self-help amongst those who need a little sense of direction in their miserable love lives. Only that The Guru back then took some effort in positioning itself (heh) as a suitable romantic date movie, while Myers' version went for broke and placed its bets on being totally irreverent and comedic, only to disastrous effect when plenty of its jokes missed their mark.

If there's a semblance of a plot, the movie can't decide if it wanted to be sports themed, love-related themed, or to parody self-help in general, so it decided to do them all, so much so that the movie came across as scattered, and spluttered along the way as it shifted gears each time it ran out of steam during a scene. It had its fair share of ice hockey games given that the subject of professional interest of Mike Myers' Guru PItka, is star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco), and Pitka's mission is to get Darren back with his wife Prudence (Meagan Good) so that Darren's mission to help his team in their championship run will be back on track.

Myers seemed a little too self conscious in his role here and failed to disappear completely into it despite the hairy makeover. As a Deepak Chopra wannabe, whom the story would suggest Pitka and Chopra come from the same school under Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley?!) Guru Pitka is something of an Austin Powers with his penchant for song and dance, and his intentional or otherwise sexual innuendoes which you have to pay attention to catch them all. The witty word pun and dialogue is Myers forte, and the best bits in the movie are those moments which happen to unfortunately be few and far between, where you are likely to do a double take as they just whizz you by.

Otherwise, the other supporting characters are really pedestrian in the movie. Jessica Alba as Jane Bullard is a completely flower vase role, and Ben Kingsley hammed it up too much as the crossed eye guru. Verne "mini-me" Troyer also shares the spotlight though his best line came about during the NG sequence shown when the end credits rolled. Perhaps Justin Timberlake's role as Jacques Grande (no prizes as to grande-what) brought on the most laughs with his funny French-accent and effeminate demeanour. which is a striking throwback to Sacha Baron Cohen's character Jean Girard in Talladega Nights,

You can feel The Love Guru running out of gags in the bag when it shown its hand too early in the movie during Pitka's self-help sessions, and ran out of material later in the movie where it had to resort to cutting corners from its D-R-A-M-A five-parter technique. Despite pulling everything from his repertoire, Mike Myers' The Love Guru just couldn't make it last all the way to a satisfying climax, of pure comedy.

Movie Rating:

Review by Stefan Shih

(A refund is in order if you paid this guru in full)


. Get Smart (2008)

. You Don't Mess With the Zohan (2008)

. Semi Pro (2008)

. Evan Almighty (2007)

. Good Luck Chuck (2007)

. Shrek The Third (2007)

. American Dreamz DVD (2006)



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