Misspent Spoof: The Love Guru
George Kraychyk/Paramount Pictures
(Click to enlarge)
Talk with the hand: Mike Myers, wise guy.
Mike Myers likes ice hockey. He also likes Deepak Chopra, a little bit too much. So he pulled together a bit of hockey and a whole lot of Chopra and called it a plot. Building a movie around the efforts of an also-ran celebrity guru to sort out the internal politics of the Toronto Maple Leafs was Myers’ first mistake. His second was to seek Chopra’s blessing and throw him a cameo, thus fluffing a golden opportunity to take a good, strong whack at the guru industry. Kitted out in an orange shirt, Dali mustache, brown cow eyes brimming with faux-sympathy and lechery, and a fluid libido, Myers’ Guru Pitka, a shaman cursed with lagging behind Chopra on the pop-psych charts, is too like his source to be really funny or really cutting. Indeed, he’s a bit of a dear, and completely upstaged by the charm of a bunch of megastars ready and waiting to spoof themselves. Team manager Jessica Alba romps adorably through a goofy Bollywood dance sequence. Goalie Justin Timberlake gives his all to a sing-off with a Céline Dion impersonator. And Ben Kingsley, as a cross-eyed Zen master, hasn’t been this funny since he swanned around in that outsize diaper in Gandhi. The rest is disposable. Now and again some pungent writing (the script is by Myers with Graham Gordy) leaks through to poke fun at the excruciating banality of guru wisdom. But mostly it’s dreary dick jokes and elephant poop, slack directing by Marco Schnabel (a second unit on the Austin Powers movies) and, of all fatal errors, Mike Myers shooting for cuddly. (Citywide)
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.