Guru Pitka (Myers), the second-most
favorite spiritual adviser after Deepak Chopra (yup, he’s in it, too)
is called upon by Toronto Maple Leafs owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba)
to rehab her on-the-skids star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco).
Roanoke’s philandering has cost him his wife (Meaghan Good), who has
rushed into the arms (and pants) of the well-equipped Jacques “Le Coq”
Grande (Justin Timberlake), goalie for the Los Angeles Kings.
Meanwhile, the pure Pitka wants to lose
his virginity with Jane, but a pesky chastity belt keeps getting in the
way, as flashbacks recall the tutelage of young Pitka under Guru
Tugginmypuddha (Ben Kingsley, a long way from Gandhi, and resorting to Ben Turpin-styled crossed eyes for the occasion). Also on the fringes: Verne Troyer, Austin Powers
scene-stealer Mini Me, as the Maple Leafs’ profane coach, and Stephen
Colbert and Jim Gaffigan as boob-tube hockey commentators.
Belly up to Bollywood: Jessica Alba (center) in a musical number from The Love Guru.
The mystical self-help cottage industry is worthy of a send-up and Love Guru occasionally hits the satiric mark, such as the amusing titles of Pitka’s best-selling wisdom tomes like Stop Hitting Yourself. Stop Hitting Yourself. Why Are You Hitting Yourself?
Myers, underneath a flowing wig and a Salvador Dali mustache, is
basically doing a riff on the Indian characters played by Peter
Sellers, such as The Millionairess (1960), and he has some
inspired moments during the Bollywood-type musical numbers. Yet the
characters’ funny monikers inevitably must cue in a landslide of dick
jokes, nearly every one flaccid, while the presence of elephant dung is
likewise expected. Amid the lowbrow shenanigans, Timberlake is
genuinely amusing with his Canuck-flavored Robert Goulet accent.
The Love Guru unwisely opened last June opposite Get Smart,
a case of whose-is-bigger? that spelled doom for Myers, as Paramount
quickly dumped the film out of multiplexes after three weeks; whether
the movie may reach cult status with undiscriminating DVD owners down
the road is anybody’s guess, although it was bargain-priced at some
retailers during the Thanksgiving sales push. Still, Myers’ status as
box-office pariah was short-lived: His Shrek buddy Eddie Murphy really tanked with the sci-fi flop Meet Dave,
which means Myers had some slightly better karma after all. The extras
on Paramount’s DVD were unavailable for perusal at press time.