The Love Guru
- Eddie Harrison
- 31 July 2008
Aside from his ongoing Shrek and Austin Powers properties, Mike Myers hasn’t come up with a new comedy character in over a decade. Myers claims his latest creation, Guru Pitka, has been honed by comedy-club appearances, but there’s little evidence of such fine-tuning in The Love Guru, a patchy selection of playground double entendres unlikely to kick-start another franchise.
As with Adam Sandler’s upcoming You Don’t Mess With The Zohan, Myers has taken his inspiration from Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat with another ‘funny foreigner’ persona, Guru Pitka, who is portrayed as a vainglorious figure obsessed with besting real-life rival Deepak Chopra in the popularity stakes. Pitka is challenged to calm the turbulent love life of ice hockey star Darren Roanoke (Romany Maldo) whose girlfriend has been stolen by goalie Jacques ‘Le Coq’ Grande (Justin Timberlake), while Pitka also battles the stirring in his own loins for Jane (Jessica Alba).
The Love Guru packs a few laughs, mainly thanks to Ben Kingsley’s shameless parody of his Gandhi role as Pitka’s mentor. But Myers has saddled first-time director Marco Schnabel with routines over-familiar from the Powers movies, with pointless cameos (Kanye West, Stephen Colbert), cruel gags at the expense of Mini-Me Verne Troyer and redundant musical sequences. And what kills The Love Guru is the insistence on cut-away shots of other characters cracking up at Myers’ gags; it’s the cinematic equivalent of a sitcom laugh track and suggestive of a lack of faith in Pitka’s ability to amuse.
General release from Fri 1 Aug.