review for The Love Guru on AllMovie

The Love Guru (2008)
by Perry Seibert review

Mike Myers is willing to do anything to make an audience laugh. Dick jokes, poop jokes, tortured puns, outlandish accents, and stylized make-up, have been in his repertoire since he first became a household name on Saturday Night Live. Since the stereotype goes that comics are by nature needy -- constantly desiring an audience's laughter and approval to fill some emotional void in their lives -- many comedians willing to be this ridiculous come off as pitifully desperate. Myers will forever remain a more interesting figure than many of his peers because, while he's willing to do anything at all for a laugh, he always seems to be able to commit to the jokes so fully that one senses he thinks they are funny.

As the Guru Pitka, the world's second most popular self-help advisor, Myers dons a ridiculous thatch of facial hair, an Indian accent that wavers from scene to scene, and a chastity belt. Forever desiring an Oprah appearance so that he may become the next Deepak Chopra, Pitka gets hired by the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (a competent Jessica Alba) to help the team's star player (an under-utilized Romany Malco) get back together with his wife after their separation sapped him of his hockey skills. The film weaves together a loving parody of self-help lingo and logic (easily the strongest material in the film) with a stream of juvenile humor so consistent that it makes the Austin Powers movies seem like the work of Noël Coward. You will either respond to a grand finale that hinges on elephants having sex on the ice during the Stanley Cup finals or you won't, and the odds of you laughing might hinge mostly on your response to Myers during his entire career. As an actor and writer, Myers seems incapable of doing a joke that he doesn't think is funny, which makes sitting through an unfunny patch with him more tolerable than it might otherwise be.

One of the central lessons learned in The Love Guru is that other people may say bad things about you, but you must never say bad things about yourself. The statement applies to the film as a whole because others might not find it nearly as funny or as profound as Myers does, but the fact is that he "means" every frame of this film -- all the positive messages as well as the midget defribulation -- and that sincerity makes the film somewhat interesting even though it falls short of successful.