The Love Guru (2008) *

Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 1hr 27min
Director: Marco Schnabel
Stars: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake
Genre: Comedy
Language: English

Myers Loses His Mojo

In a Nutshell

Plot

Straight as an Arrow
Twisty

Sound Quality

Easy to Hear
Incomprehensible

Who's That?

Few Main Characters
Lots

Naughty Words

Mild
Foul

Naked people

None
Lots

Violence

Tame
Bloody

The opening weekend box office results for the latest Mike Myers movie were described by one Los Angeles-based reporter as “a serious embarrassment.” Having tried to make sense of why Mr. Myers would go so horribly wrong, it is pretty clear why.

The original, comic mind that gave us the “Austin Powers” character has sunk to scatological, infantile levels that, ironically, might appeal to a very young kid in what is a PG-13 movie. It’s not that the intent to be funny is not there, it’s that the effort sinks like a ton of bricks.

OK, there is room for the odd snigger here and there, as opposed to a heartier belly laugh. After all, there’s a little kid in all of us just trying to get out.

But it’s a crying shame that so much acting and production talent has been poured into a bottom-line “Oh, why did they bother?” movie. Or, to be a little fairer, “Why, oh why, didn’t they do better?”

And Mr. Myers, this is for you: just because a weak, hackneyed joke is followed by one of your trademark, enormous grins doesn’t really make the line any funnier, even for a full-fledged Myers fan.

Mr. Myers plays the part of Guru Pitka, a Hindu spiritualist who is annoyed beyond measure that he is less popular than the real-life Deepak Chopra, and will do anything to prove his worth by getting himself onto the “Oprah” show.

The chance comes his way, he thinks, when a star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, played by Romany Malco, loses the affections of his wife to Justin Timberlake, cast as an opposing team’s goalie.

Guru Pitka is approached by the Leafs owner, Jessica Alba, to help bring Mr. Malco out of his love-lost slump and try to lead the Leafs to the Stanley Cup, hockey’s golden prize.

The trouble, it is made plain, is that Mr. Romany’s character is well-regarded as a hockey player, but that Mr. Timberlake is, well, not just a good goalie, but extremely well-endowed, too.

Much of the movie revolves around this contention, even down to close-ups of Mr. Timberlake’s clothed nether regions.

Along the way there are elephants doing their business (oh, hilarious!), and an attack by a guard rooster (ain’t that a hoot!). But there’s more: two guys fight it out with urine-soaked mops (now try and beat that one, Mr. Steinberg!).

The credits have to be one of the longest on record, so there’s no doubt an awful lot of effort and thought was put into making “The Love Guru.”

But to turn out such juvenile junk and think it will seriously appeal to anyone over the age of 12 makes one wonder what Hollywood producers take with their breakfast every day. Or smoke before going to bed.

Seriously, Mr. Myers, you’ve lost your mojo.

A lifelong journalist, Terence Neilan started his career in his home country, England, and then moved to New York in 1970. After a couple of years as an editor at The New York Post, he moved to The New York Times, where he worked as an editor and Website reporter for 29 years, retiring in 2005.

Comments

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