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The Love Guru

Before you go any further, I have one question for you. What do you really want from a Mike Myers movie? In Wayne’s World he gave us a memorable character over a formula story and infused it with a lot of pop culture references and jokes. He did the same for the whole Austin Powers trilogy, and some would argue the same for his So I Married an Ax Murderer. One could also argue that all his endeavors were full of laughs and quotable parts, even if the overall product turned up flat. With Myers' latest venture, The Love Guru, he returns to form, good or bad, to give us what we’d expect.

The Love Guru is the story of American born but Indian raised Pitka (Myers in all aged facets) who’s the second best Guru in the world and who’d love to be the best. He’s hired by Toronto Maple Leafs Owner Jane Bullard (The satisfyingly hot, yet stone-faced Jessica Alba) to patch up the broken romance between star player Darren Roanoke (The yet to find his voice Romany Malco) and his hot chocolate sundae of a wife Prudence (Meagan Good).

It seems that heartbroken Roanoke is off his game as the Leafs enter the Stanley cup playoffs, and the much to prove Jane needs a win to stay off the angry Toronto fans and step out of the shadow of the team's previous owner, her late father. Pitka himself, it seems, has something to prove as well, as he learns that if he can bring the two estranged lovers back together, he’ll receive a spot on Oprah where she’ll no doubt proclaim him Guru numero uno.

Like the rest of Myers' movies, this is the foundation that is set to launch all the comedy off of and so begins the barrage of sophomoric humor and potty jokes. The pop cultural satire comes in the form of our country’s need for self help exploration and our infatuation with old world philosophies and cures. Pitka is dressed in traditional Indian garb and jewelry. He rides elephants instead of cars. He lives and operates out of a fantastic ashram in the heart of Los Angeles and has loads of devoted followers, including the trendy celebrity or three. He’s also got a book for just about any situation, and luckily for us, a wise answer for anything.

The potty jokes come from Pitka’s interpretation of the self help method and his wild use of inappropriate acronyms and trademarks. He’s also a little bit of a sexual troublemaker and anytime he can make a suggestive joke he will. Just ask his Uncle Jack.

As a movie, The Love Guru is fine. It’s not high art, and noone is going into it expecting that. It has laughs all over the place. Unfortunately, sometimes they can be few and far between some of the establishing plot points of the film.

Like most Mike Myers films, it has funny characters and a lot of quotable lines. Justin Timberlake steps in as Roanoke’s rival Jacques “Le Coq” Grande, and turns in an SNL version of a Canadian. Verne Troyer returns with a speaking role as the Leafs' feisty McNugget of a coach, Punch Cherkov, and Stephen Colbert is hilarious as recovering addict/sports announcer Jay Kell.

The Love Guru is a silly leave your brain at the door type of movie and it’s meant to be just a fun trip to the movies. Its main plots are rushed, underdeveloped and really just there so Mike Myers can mug for the camera. Myers has fun with Eastern Indian cultures and celebrates the Bollywood in us all, and even gets Jessica Alba dancing in a sari. Treasure that thought.

Other highlights include the Stanley Cup coverage animations, Roanoke’s unconventional hockey style and a trip to the Special Victims Unit.

Many may write off this movie off as a lazy attempt at comedy by Mike Myers and some even call it the end of his career, but just like the first Austin Powers, which initially sat still with me the first time I saw it, The Love Guru will find its audience who will undoubtedly enjoy the laughter and keep repeating the best bits all summer long.

Lon Lopez

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