The Love Guru

By Mark Ramsey | 2008/06/23

For the first time ever, Mariska Hargitay is trying to be funny.

After all, there’s nothing funny about her TV show, Law & Order: SVU, except for the performance of Ice T, which isn’t even phoned in – “I generally text-message it in,” admits T. “And on occasion I’ll tie it to the claw of a carrier pigeon and usher it on its way.”

And Mariska isn’t the only thing unfunny about The Love Guru…especially if you count everything else.


Now I love Mike Myers, really I do. And Mike has been gone from the big screen for far too long. But so has the Creature from the Black Lagoon, and it’s because he’s waiting for the right project.

Sadly, this isn’t it.

I get it. Mike is trying to do for the sitar what Sarah Jessica Parker did for a pair of Manolo Blahniks.

No such luck.

What’s with all the excess mugging, Mike? That mugging takes the place of the stuffing that filled the Austin Powers series. Unfortunately, the stuffing in The Love Guru is deep inside a turkey.

Somehow, Mike believes he can create the first movie hero with facial hair. Oh foolish mortal! There’s a reason Magnum P.I. went straight to the small screen, Mike, and it wasn’t because Hawaiian shirts look better in the privacy of your own home.

Although there’s very little doubt that they do.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are competing for the Stanley Cup – and in case you think I just started talking about a different movie, no! It’s actually the same one! Because if there’s anything that goes with the pursuit of Hindu spiritual enlightenment it’s a flat-out bone-crushing pound-fest on ice.

And look who owns the Leafs – Jessica Alba!

Wait a minute, Jessica Alba owns a professional hockey team?

“This is the first time my work is associated the term ‘professional,’” says an excited Alba. “And until now, my hockey has been of the tonsil variety.”

No offense, hockey fans, but if I’m watching a Puck on the big screen, it had better be that guy from MTV’s The Real World San Francisco.

The Love Guru’s specialty is finding spiritual truths in routine expressions, for example “Intimacy” becomes “Into Me I See” and “GetSmart” becomes “The Comedy I Will See this Weekend instead of The Love Guru.”

Guru Pitka has the word “drama” tattooed on his fingers:

D – “Don’t”

R- “Run”

A – “Away,”

M – “My”

A – “Audience!”

Pitka is called in to help a Maple Leafs player with mommy issues, a gripping motivation if ever there was one. Especially if what you’re gripping is the neck of the person who brought you to this clinker.

Ben Kingsley, whose previous roles in Gandhi and Schindler’s List displayed the range of his comic gifts, is Guru Tugginmypudha. His eyes are crossed in a desperate attempt to vanish off-screen even if it means different sides of the screen at the same time.


The temptation to follow his eyes out both exits at once is overwhelming.

Perhaps the most annoying thing about this movie is that every time Mike enters or exits the screen or swings his head around there’s one of those old-school whipping wind sound effects.

Can a head please turn in this movie without sparking a mini-hurricane?

I did enjoy the brief appearance of Deepak Chopra who was on set for only a few minutes – long enough to write seven books, produce two public television specials, and counsel Madonna and Michael Jackson on their entry into the Field of Infinite Menopause.

“What does Deepak Chopra have that I don’t have?” Pitka asks.

An Indian accent without a Scottish lilt, for one thing.

The Love Guru is a comedy with elephants and without laughs.

I guess getting elephants is easier.

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“This is where we would kiss if I was attracted to girls”