Making the Grades
With many corporations and sports teams turning to self-help gurus for professional and spiritual guidance, creating a farce based on this premise should supply oodles of humorous possibilities. The Love Guru attempts to step up to that task, but does so with the delight of a sixth grader anticipating his first sex education class.
Guru Pitka (played by Mike Meyers, who also authors this film's screenplay) was born in the US but raised, supposedly along with real life mentor Deepak Chopra, in a small fishing village in India by spiritual leaders -- primarily Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley). Now as an adult, Pitka is a world-renowned New Age spiritualist, second only to Chopra (playing himself). However his greedy agent isn't happy with this ranking and is convinced the guru could become #1, and even land a spot on Oprah, if he could pull off a stunt like reuniting a warring celebrity couple.
The perfect opportunity appears in the form of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team. They haven't won a Stanley Cup championship since 1967, and their hope of dashing the team's curse is sinking after star player Darren Roanoke's revengeful wife leaves him for rival Los Angeles Kings' star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake). The cruel move in the midst of the final series sends slap shot whiz Roanoke and his Toronto team into a nosedive.
Approached by the Leaf's fictitious owner, Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), to help save the marriage and, ultimately, bring Lord Stanley's Cup back to Toronto, Pitka seizes the opportunity. He also views a possible romantic interest with Bullard as an attractive bonus. Working with the team's skeptical coach (Verne Troyer), the guru has a formidable task ahead of him -- and endless opportunities for sexual comments.
With virtually every line in this script attempting to incorporate a gag about an anatomical part (including Jacques Grande's last name, which describes a prominent part of the character's anatomy) and a plentiful list of not-so-subtle double-entendre, it's safe to say this film won't be a top pick for family viewing. Only a handful of comedic moments fall outside these patterns. Even though the movie is mercifully short, by the time the credits roll you feel like you have spent a week at summer camp with a group of pre-pubescent boys who can't think of anything to talk about besides sex and bodily functions.
Added to the above are a myriad of sight gags and stunts also played for laughs, but have violent attributes. Perhaps the two most visually explicit of these features a confrontation between a man and a rooster (the man is later shown covered in blood and feathers, holding the dead bird), and a scene where a man is thrown through a window and has to extract a piece of glass buried deep in his blood covered forehead.
Considering the huge glut of gross-out movies parading through theaters, it is not surprising there is nothing in this film that isn't profoundly predictable or recycled. Perhaps the biggest astonishment is the number of real-life celebrities and corporations, wanting to flaunt their faces and logos on the screen, and who are willingly associate themselves with this sex-obsessed swami.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about The Love Guru.
Why do you think individuals and corporations are turning to spiritual advisors for guidance? Do you think these methods can have long-term benefits?
When a movie or other art form creates a farcical rendition of an actual situation, do you think it is always criticizing it in a negative way? Is it possible to make a farce of something and leave a positive statement with the audience? Why do you think farces are such a popular way of critiquing our society?