I like Mike Myers. I think he’s really talented, and I’ve enjoyed him in films like Wayne’s World, So I Married an Axe Murderer and Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. That’s why I didn’t want to see The Love Guru. Seeing the trailers for this latest Myers project, I had the distinct feeling it was going to be a black mark on his filmography.
What an understatement — 20 minutes into The Love Guru, I wanted to punch Mike Myers in the face.
The Love Guru features a brand new Myers character, Guru Pitka. He’s Caucasian but was raised in India under the tutelage of Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley, Gandhi), along with Deepak Chopra, the world’s leading self-help guru and Pitka’s greatest rival. Pitka longs to surpass Chopra, and his advisor assures him he can do it by getting a spot on Oprah. But that’ll take a great feat to attract the world’s — and Oprah’s — attention.
Enter Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba, Sin City), owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs. She wants Pitka to travel to Canada and help save the Leafs’ star player, Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco, Baby Mama), and their Stanley Cup bid. See, Roanoke is the Tiger Woods of hockey, but his game is way off because his wife left him for rival player Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake, Alpha Dog). If Pitka can fix Roanoke and help him reconcile with his wife, the Leafs will win the cup and Pitka will topple Chopra on Oprah.
Myers created Guru Pitka and co-wrote The Love Guru, so I have no qualms holding him accountable for this atrocious piece of drivel. Myers’ comedy has been on a downward slide into obscene un-hilarity ever since Austin Powers made us horny back in ’99. With each sequel, the jokes aimed lower, until the comedic quality of International Man of Mystery had been ravaged and half-eaten by Fat Bastard, left to rot in the setting sun of Myers’ career.
The Love Guru continues the downward spiral. Aside from a few truly amusing moments with Timberlake’s laughable — in a good way — French Canadian accent and extra-stuffed speedo, the film is nothing more than a series of awful jokes. Gone is the wit of the original Austin Powers, replaced with Guru Pitka’s silly — in a pitiable way — antics, stuff only a child could appreciate. Where Powers offered superb ‘wink-wink, nudge-nudge’ sexuality and humorous flatulence, Pitka mimes blow-jobs, makes cracks about diarrhea and duels with pee-soaked mops. Bathroom humor doesn’t get any lower than this.
On the bright side, Myers got at least one thing right. When Roanoke responds to one of Pitka’s pitiful puns with “you’re an idiot!”, Myers chimes right back, “yes, I am!”
Oh, and I guess there’s also the short running time to be thankful for — though 86 minutes of The Love Guru at times feels much, much longer. Mostly because a lot of it should have never made it past dailies, let alone out of the editing room.
Mike, you can do better. I’m willing to forgive and forget, if you can find it in yourself to toss everything Pitka out with the trash and take a real hard look at where you’ve gone wrong. Somewhere inside you is still one of the finest talents in comedy.
The Love Guru is presented on a single disc, with an accompanying digital copy disc for use with your computer or handheld media device. The film is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen format, preserving the aspect ratio of its original theatrical version. While the movie just plain stinks, it looks great doing it. Colours are vibrant but not oversaturated, and the picture is consistently sharp with lots of detail — like the hairs on the face of Pitka’s elephant while it humps its circus counterpart. I have only one complaint: at the very end, in the final musical sequence, the blue sky is marred by softness. But this is very minor, and shouldn’t detract for your enjoyment — or lack thereof — of The Love Guru.
Main audio is English in Dolby Digital 5.1. It sounds about as good as you could hope, given the genre. Everything is perfectly clear, with a pleasing dynamic range, evidenced by the bollywood-inspired musical celebration or *cough* the elephant coitus. The mix is decidedly front-heavy, but again that’s typical for a comedy. The rear channels are utilized sparingly for ambient support and the odd directional effect, and the LFE channel is relatively quiet. Basically, the movie sounds great, just not in a bombastic kind of way.
5.1 audio is also available in French and Spanish, while subtitles are offered in all three languages.
The Love Guru: Special Edition comes packed with many more extras than it deserves. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Mike Myers and The Love Guru – An Inside Look: a 10-minute fluff piece with the key players (Myers, Alba, director Marco Schnabel, etc.) praising the film, each other, and especially Myers’ creative genius. Sigh.
- One Helluva Elephant: perhaps the most interesting of all the extras, this six-minute featurette offers a look a the creation of the faux-elephant puppet used for the, uh, more complicated pachyderm sequences.
- Deleted and Extended Scenes: as if anyone wants to see more of The Love Guru. For the die-hards, this collection features 10 deleted/extended scenes and one alternate ending.
- Bloopers: your typical collection of goofs and gags, which at least show that the cast and crew had fun making the movie. Too bad we can’t share in the fun.
- Back in the Booth with Trent and Jay: if you’re a fan of the Colbert Report or standup comedy, you might dig this featurette offering more of Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan as wingnut sportscasters. Runs about five minutes.
- Outtakes and more: this might as well have been called ‘miscellaneous’, as it’s a quickie collection of alternate takes and gags that didn’t make the final cut.
- Theatrical trailer: hey, both of the film’s funny jokes were in the trailer. They should have called this one ‘Best of The Love Guru’.
The Love Guru is excruciatingly bad. I had to watch it in three separate sittings because I just couldn’t stand it all at once. I’ve long been and still am a Mike Myers fan, so I think it would be best if we could all just forget this film ever happened. So don’t buy this DVD, and don’t rent it. Just let it fade away.