Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bad Karma

Prior to the release of Mike Myers’ new comedy The Love Guru, some Hindu groups organized a boycott, claiming the movie insults their religion.

But why narrow it down? The movie is insulting to everyone with eyes. In fact, it’s hardly even a movie. It’s so slackly directed (by Marco Schnabel) and indifferently written (by Myers and Graham Gordy), it doesn’t even look like a finished production. What was Paramount thinking when it allowed the release of this abominable collection of grimly unfunny gross-out gags?

Myers, whose over-the-top sketch comedy style hasn’t worn well over the years, trots out an unappetizing character called Guru Pitka, a silly, banality-spouting spiritual leader in the mode of the Beatles’ Maharishi. There’s plenty of comedy fodder there, but the movie doesn’t begin to explore it, opting instead for an endless stream of dick jokes, poop jokes, piss jokes, and a climax featuring copulating elephants.

Pitka, a Canadian whose missionary parents left him at an Indian ashram, was groomed as a disciple by a cross-eyed guru (Ben Kingsley), whose name, Guru Tugginmypudha, gives you an idea of the movie’s side-splitting hilarity. Now grown, Pitka runs a popular L.A. ashram and touts himself as an expert on love. The pretty owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (Jessica Alba) enlists him to help reunite its star player, Roanoke (Romany Malco) with his estranged wife (Meagan Good), now hooked up with Jacques "Le Coq" Grande (Justin Timberlake), a daffy, Celine Dion-obsessed Quebecois renowned for his enormous package. Pitka must “cure” Roanoke so the Leafs can break their losing streak and win the Stanley Cup. This will help Pitka earn a spot on Oprah and surpass his countryman Deepak Chopra on the bestseller list.

Hinduism and hockey is an intriguingly odd combo, but the movie seems too bored with itself to pay any attention to the story. All that’s left are the jokes and sight gags, of which nearly all are ridiculously stupid.

Myers has actually said this movie was inspired by the death of George Harrison, who would surely have been appalled.

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