You gotta love Mike Myers. Really, you do! Whether he’s playing Wayne, Austin Powers or his newest creation, the guru Pitka, he’s so spirited, good-natured and clearly having a blast being a goofball that it’s almost impossible not to be won over.
The Guru who? Pitka! Born in America but raised in India, Pitka has devoted his entire life to helping people learn to love each other and especially themselves… Even though, ironically, he himself has a hard time doing just that. His problem is that he’s always felt that, as far as masters of Eastern-influenced pop psychology go, he’s a poor man’s Deepak Chopra. He’s never even been on Oprah!
As “The Love Guru” begins, Pitka gets an opportunity to get Oprah’s attention and take his career to the next level when he’s hired by the owner (Jessica Alba) of the Toronto Maple Leafs to get their star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) back with his girlfriend Prudence (Meagan Good) after their highly mediatized breakup, which has thrown him off his game. But it won’t be that easy, as Pitka will have to get past Prudence’s new lover, Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake), who just happens to be the Céline Dion-loving Québécois goalie of the L.A. King, the Leafs’ opponents in the Stanley Cup finals. “Tabarnak!”
Ok, this sounds like a lot of plot right there, but it’s neatly set up in the film’s first five minutes or so, then it smoothly plays out through the rest of the movie, mostly as an excuse for countless gags about self-help and hockey, dick and fart jokes, dorky but amusing puns, and slapstick. There are also a couple of Bollywood numbers, which I got a huge kick out of, as well as some sitar covers of songs like More Than Words and The Joker
Through it all, what keeps “The Love Guru” going is Mike Myers’ aforementioned contagious enthusiasm. Then, being Québécois myself, I found Justin Timberlake to be particularly hilarious, and I was also tickled by the supporting performances of Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show‘s John Oliver and Verne Troyer, even though it feels like the latter is doing leftover Mini-Me material. As for Romany Malco, he’s mostly acting as the film’s straight man and, similarly, Jessica Alba and Meagan Goode are asked to do little more than look pretty while Myers does his thing. And do his thing he does!