Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Holy Man", "Austin Powers" movies
The self-help business has probably seen better movie spoofs but Mike Myers has made it his own with "The Love Guru" even if it will never spawn sequels.
Unlike the other comics around today like Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and Steve Carell, old Mikey has always had that penchant for intelligent lewd humour - although some parts of the Austin Powers movies were more crude than funny.
Speaking about the International Man Of Mystery, that's when Myers the actor was dabbling in spirituality, according to the productions notes at least. See, he lost his dad at the time and went on a personal quest around ashrams (as disenfranchised First World white people often do) and unsurprisingly found comedy in the whole Enlightenment thing. Apparently he thinks that the concept of Enlightenment is basically to simply lighten up!
This movie does that. Myers movies do not have that Judd Apatow humour that demands instant judgment - instead, they are invitingly sweet and character-driven. Featuring real-life guru Deepak Chopra, not to mention some pretty famous ice hockey players that I wouldn't know, "The Love Guru" deserves some respect for going that extra mile to get the extra laugh.
Then come the missteps. We get Jessica Alba playing an overly-vulnerable girl-next-door (default role for every Alba movie), but we'll try to overlook that along with Justin Timberlake's obnoxious frenchie character Le Coq. I'm still not convinced with the acting of either, especially since Alba in her recent "Awake" or "Eye" was still 'skin talent', if anything. Timberlake's "Black Snake Moan" is an example of a movie in which every other cast member acted him out of sight. The worst of the lot here goes to Sir Ben Kingsley, who doesn't seem to mind starring in any silly old role for a laugh. Am I truly missing the comedy?
Thankfully, these complaints stop here - for Mike Myers' Guru Pitka is completely watchable. The jokes in "The Love Guru" are funny, too. However, much like the dharma tuition he gives, they will only draw giggles but not laugh-out-louds. Guru Pitka is smart restrained humour but he will never get that gung-ho, get-up-and-go like Austin Powers can. He's more like Shrek discovering a Sanskrit guidebook.
Oddly, that's probably what Myers wants. "Love Guru" seems a bit more like a personal project from him, a sort of labour of love. It isn't a very well-liked film, and won't be too successful either. It's a kind of self-glowing film that you will enjoy if you're set on it anyway.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008