While watching The Love Guru, the latest attempt by Mike Myers to start a comic franchise, I came to a realization: All of his iconic characters—or attempts at iconic characters—are essentially the same. Wayne, Austin Powers, the horrifying Cat in the Hat, the Guru idiot in this movie, and even the guy in So I Married an Axe Murderer all make stupid jokes with the same infantile sense of humor, then follow those jokes with annoying, self-congratulatory laughter.
He got away with the self-approval shtick in past films because they were funny, but it doesn’t work this time. After a funny start, The Love Guru starts sputtering and limping to its end credits. By the time the film was over, my only comfort was the thought that I would never have to endure this nightmarish concoction again.
Austin Powers and Wayne of Wayne’s World occupied universes that made sense for them. This Guru Pitka character makes no sense whatsoever. He’s just an excuse for Myers to tell cock jokes, show elephants humping and, yes, laugh at himself. I guess he’s supposed to be spoofing Deepak Chopra and Gandhi, but it really comes off more like Cat in the Hat sans makeup. I remember being frightened while watching Cat in the Hat, and I pretty much felt the same way this time out.
I confess the film had me laughing out loud when a young Pitka —a brilliant usage of computer-generated effects to make Myers a pre-teen—proclaims that he wants to be a guru so girls will like him. It was here that I was thinking “Say, this looks like it’s going to be fun!” Then, the Guru gets hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs owner to get their star player (Romany Malco) back with his wife so he’ll cheer up and win the Stanley Cup. Granted, taking a guru guy and putting him out of his element could be funny stuff, if the guru weren’t so bloody annoying.
Myers makes himself up in a stupid beard and wig combo and tops it off with a fat nose (Note to Myers: If that nose in the film is not a prosthetic and is, in fact, your own fat nose, I sincerely apologize. Your movie sucks, but that doesn’t grant me the right to make fun of your big fat nose). He speaks in a sort of low nasal drone that wears on you little by little, to the point that you’d stuff Whoppers malted milk balls in your ears rather than listen to him.
The Maple Leafs owner is played by Jessica Alba, a sweet actress who, once again, finds herself trudging through cinematic shit. Why can’t Alba get into a decent film other than Sin City? I’m not proclaiming her any kind of major talent, but she is better than the stuff her agent is landing her in. Seriously, this is Hollywood’s most cursed actress.
Justin Timberlake—he of “Dick in a Box” fame—plays Jacques Grande, owner of the world’s biggest wang. Timberlake cracked my ass up on Saturday Night Live, and he doesn’t achieve that state with me this time. Every moment he occupied the screen, I chastised myself for ever thinking he was funny, which annoyed the folks sitting next to me, for I was speaking aloud.
Seriously, if you are going to make a movie in which the central character is an egotistical asshole who is drooling all over Hollywood’s prettiest and constantly commenting on the state of his crotch, just make another Austin Powers movie. Hell, this movie even has Verne Troyer (Mini-Me) running around in it.
Actually, box office doesn’t look too promising for this puppy, so Austin Powers 4 probably just got moved up a peg on Mike’s “Things to Do” list. Let’s hope that list doesn’t include another visit with Guru Pitka. Take another big break, Mike, and come back with something less insulting next time.