Mike Myers’ The Love Guru has everything a big summer comedy is expected to have, including star cameos, sex jokes, gay jokes, penis jokes, testicle jokes, pee jokes, poop jokes and booger jokes. The characters’ names sometimes sound like something off-color, like “Satchabigknoba.” Verne Troyer is on hand for a series of “little person” jokes. The movie has elephant sex, a killer rooster and musical numbers based on forgotten, ridiculous pop songs. It has a highly improbable, tacked-on romance between Jessica Alba, 27, and Myers, 45. What it doesn’t have is anything actually funny or relevant.
Myers plays Guru Pitka, an American raised in India and trained by a cross-eyed guru (Ben Kingsley, perhaps spoofing his old Oscar-winning Gandhi role). Jane Bullard (Alba), owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, hires Pitka to fix her star player, Darren Roanoke (Malco), whose girlfriend (the underused Meagan Good) has left him for a rival player (Timberlake, clearly having a ball). Everything comes down to the Stanley Cup playoffs and a guest appearance for Pitka on Oprah. Pitka has several gimmicky little sayings and plays on words, some of which are amusing, such as “intimacy” becoming “into me I see.” And he has apparently written several books with silly titles that he holds up at appropriate moments, but mainly he uses his platform to make dirty jokes and giggle at himself. One of his methods is to regress his clients, which he does by making diarrhea noises until they laugh.
Myers is so persistent and joyous in his naughty humor that you sometimes give in and laugh along with him, but the movie as a whole feels like an embarrassing, drunken party video that should have been erased but was somehow released in theaters. These jokes are really only funny for kids who are just learning about their bodies, but the truth is that kids are perfectly capable of making their own bodily function jokes. What we really need from a 45-year-old professional comedian like Myers is something vaguely resembling life. His Wayne’s World films had a little something to say about American suburbia, and his Austin Powers films were at the very least a reimagining of old movies. He grew merely annoying in the Shrek films and the brutally awful The Cat in the Hat. If nothing else, his Love Guru is gentle and helpful—at least between lewd jokes and giggle fits.