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The Love Guru (2008)

by on 2013/04/13

The Love Guru (2008)

“Mark my words, this shortcut will haunt you.”

* *

I’m inclined to be generous with Mike Myers where The Love Guru is concerned. I once heard he was inspired by his late father’s love of Peter Sellers. Something inside me twisted in empathy.

I should have suspected he was referring to The Party, a Sellers misfire I consider an offensive waste of the medium.

See, I want to love Myers – and usually do – but he sometimes makes it difficult, especially if this rancid leaving is any indication.

“Don’t feel too bad,” I reassure myself, “A whole lot of others were fooled too.” Those others are heavyweights in their respective fields, people who should really know better: Deepak Chopra, Stephen Colbert, Morgan Freeman, Val Kilmer, Sir Ben Kingsley, Justin Timberlake . . . ah, never mind, it’s hardly worth going on.

In short, The Love Guru may get a bad rap, but for very good reason.

Maurice Pitka (Myers) is a popular self-help guru, hired to fix the ailing relationship of a Toronto hockey player (Romany Malco). He believes that doing so will land him a booking on Oprah Winfrey’s talk show, and make him the next Deepak Chopra.

Not only is that plot razor-thin, with no significant conflict, but it’s hardly an involving quest for a ticket-paying audience. It’s sort of the theatrical equivalent of Lennon and McCartney flippantly deciding to compose a new pool or Rolls-Royce . . . only Myers has produced a poorer result, one demanding much more than three minutes.

Let me assure you, however, that this is not just total crap, whatever the world would suggest. The Love Guru is not entirely incompetent, and there are occasional moments of clever fun. Here are three: a satirical self-help assembly, a Bollywood style tangent, and a reference to Myers’ more successful effort, Wayne’s World.

Admittedly, I say “here are three” because those were all I could find, in case you thought I picked three as representing a larger group. I didn’t.

The Love Guru is frequently nonsensical, and not in a kooky-fun way. The wordplay is nearly incessant and – despite my own weakness for the practice – it’s like being locked up with a joker who is always “on” . . . a joker whose humour is of the boogers-and-bathroom variety, when he’s not exploring new ways to offend little people. Eye-rolling to start, and otherwise exhausting too soon.

Yes, it somewhat amused me perhaps a quarter of the time, with its scrappy desperation. And I can’t say it disappointed me exactly, for I received pretty much what I expected: very little. The Love Guru is colourful, dynamic, and full of manic glee, but it’s also vacant, unfunny and, hopefully, ephemeral.

I could spend at least as long as the duration of the movie itself writing about all the things which I disliked. Instead, let’s spare us that misery by bringing this piece to an end. Perhaps you could do something useful instead, like giving yourself a pedicure. Whatever, it doesn’t matter, almost anything’s more worth your while.

* *

Rated 14A (Canada) / PG13 (United States)

87 mins

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  1. A Geek’s Month in Review: April 2013 | Geek vs Goth

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