The Love Guru

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For 2009 Kannada language Movie, see Love Guru (2009 film).
The Love Guru
Love guru.jpg
Directed by Marco Schnabel
Produced by Mike Myers
Gary Barber
Written by Mike Myers
Graham Gordy
Starring Mike Myers
Jessica Alba
Justin Timberlake
Romany Malco
Meagan Good
Verne Troyer
John Oliver
Omid Djalili
Ben Kingsley
Daniel Tosh
Music by George S. Clinton
Cinematography Peter Deming
Edited by Billy Weber
Lee Haxall
Production
company
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 20, 2008 (2008-06-20)
Running time 86 minutes
Country Canada
United States
United Kingdom
Germany
Language English
Budget $62 million [1]
Box office $40,863,344

The Love Guru is a 2008 romantic comedy film directed by Marco Schnabel in his directorial debut, written and produced by Mike Myers, and starring Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, Meagan Good, Verne Troyer, John Oliver, Omid Djalili, and Ben Kingsley.

The film was a financial flop and earned overwhelmingly negative reviews.

Plot[edit]

The film begins in a little Indian village, where we are introduced to Guru Pitka talking into his recorder which allows him to sound like a man, a woman, or Morgan Freeman. He is the #2 Guru in the world, next to Deepak Chopra. A flashback shows us that Pitka is an orphan of missionaries in India. Both Pitka and Chopra were taught by Guru Tugginmypudha. Pitka says he wants to become a Guru so that girls will love him, so Tugginmypudha puts a chastity belt on him until he can learn that loving himself is more important than being loved by others.

Pitka's dream is to become the number #1 Guru and to get on Oprah. He lives a charmed life scooting around on his mobile pillow. He has thousands of followers, including celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer and Mariska Hargitay. The latter being ironic since Pitka's mantra, is "Mariska Hargitay". We attend one of his teachings which involve a lot of anagrams and play on words on a slide show. Ex: Nowhere can also be Now Here. Pitka has a gorgeous palace with a beautiful female staff, helicopter, elephants and a servant, Rajneesh, who squeezes fresh orange juice out of a tree for him and has an ostrich lay his morning egg for him.

Meanwhile, in Canada. Jane Bullard's father passed away and left her a hockey team, the Toronto Maple Leafs. They haven't won a Stanley Cup since she took over so the city hates her. Her star player, Darren Roanoke, the Tiger Woods of Hockey, has been playing poorly ever since his wife Prudence left him for a well endowed French Canadian, Le Cocq. Le Cocq plays for the rival Los Angeles Kings. He's got a tattoo on his abdomen that reads "The Legend" with an arrow pointing down. When Pitka is introduced to Jane Bullard, we get a cute Indian musical fantasy. Jane is a big fan of Guru Pitka's, having read all of his books. She's paying him 2 million dollars to patch up Darren's marriage, in time to win the Stanley Cup. Pitka's agent is thrilled and says that if Pitka patches up the marriage, Oprah will have him on her show.

Pitka has an anagram, DRAMA tattoed on his hand. D represents Distraction. Guru Tugginmypudha taught him the lesson of distraction with the use of his own urine. Pitka encourages the rival team to beat Darren up during a game, thus distracting him from his emotional distress over Prudence and Le Cocq. Darren begins to play well but then gets suspended for the next two games after beating up Le Cocq and hitting Coach Cherkov with a hockey puck. There's a meeting in the Coach's tiny office, complete with mini water cooler, where they argue about the situation. Later, Pitka has dinner with Jane, gets her to move in for a kiss, only to hear a ding on his chastity belt. He tells her it can not be, she doesn't understand and runs out. Next, Pitka tells Darren to write an Apology note to Prudence. Pitka gets in a huge fight with Le Cocq's guard rooster in order to deliver the note.

The R in Drama is Regression. Apparently Darren is afraid of his mom. They confront her at her Church choir but she ends up scaring both Pitka and Darren out of the church with her harsh words. Time is running out so Pitka skips through the rest of the anagram. He distracts Le Cocq with his idol, Celine Dion. Then lies to Prudence, telling her Darren stood up to his mom, getting her to go back to Darren. At the last game. Le Cocq, having overheard that Darren can't play with his mom in the audience. Gets Darren's mom to sing the national anthem, causing Darren to run out of the game. Meanwhile, Pitka is at the airport, on his way to the Oprah show. He sees the news on TV and defies his agent by going to the game to help Darren. After smoothing things over with his mom. Darren is ok again until Le Cocq says Prudence also said "Damn" to him in bed. Darren freezes and Pitka realizes he needs to distract Darren from whatever is troubling him.

Pitka gets 2 elephants to have sex in the middle of the ring, in front of millions of TV audience. Darren wakes up from his stupor, hits the winning goal and everyone lives happily ever after. Back in the first Indian village, Guru Tugginmypudha removes Pitka's chastity belt, there was a hook in the back. Jane and Pitka kiss. The ending is a musical number with Jane and Pitka dancing Indian musical style.

Cast[edit]

As themselves

Music[edit]

The original score for the film was composed by George S. Clinton, who recorded it with an 80-piece ensemble of the Hollywood Studio Symphony at Warner Bros.[2]

The song "Dhadak Dhadak" from the 2005 Bollywood film Bunty Aur Babli was used in the trailer.

The songs "9 to 5", "More Than Words", and "The Joker" are all in the film (performed by Myers and with sitar accompaniment) and on the soundtrack. "Brimful of Asha" was also used in the film.

Promotion[edit]

Myers appeared in the seventh season finale of American Idol as Pitka, the "spiritual director" of that show. The finalists David Cook and David Archuleta got to visit the Paramount Pictures studio theatre to see The Love Guru a month prior to its release and then got to meet Myers dressed like Pitka and playing Sitar Hero.

A "Fan Resource Page" at Fox Entertainment's beliefnet.com website[3] was "created as part of a collaboration between Beliefnet and Paramount Pictures."[4]

Box-office performance[edit]

The film did poorly at the box-office. On its opening weekend, The Love Guru grossed $13.9 million in 3,012 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #4 at the box office.[1] The opening week numbers fell short of the $20 million range forecast by Hollywood pundits.[5] The film grossed $32,190,314 in the United States and Canada with only an additional $8.7 million overseas, for a total of $40.8 million worldwide.[1]

Critical reception[edit]

The Love Guru received extremely negative reviews; as of August 2012, the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 14% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 167 reviews; the site's critical consensus states, "The Love Guru features far too many gross-out gags, and too few earned laughs, ranking as one of Mike Myers' poorest outings."[6] Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 24 out of 100, based on 33 reviews.[7]

Jay Stone of the National Post gave the film one star and said the film "is shockingly crass, sloppy, repetitive and thin." Stone said "Chopra is used almost as a product placement, taking a proud spot alongside a circus, a brand of cinnamon buns, the Leafs and, of course, Mike Myers." Stone also wrote, "the sitar-based versions of pop songs like "9 to 5" are oddly watchable - but mostly the film is 88 minutes of ridiculous sight gags and obscene puns."[8]

A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote "The word 'unfunny' surely applies to Mr. Myers's obnoxious attempts to find mirth in physical and cultural differences but does not quite capture the strenuous unpleasantness of his performance. No, The Love Guru is downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again."[9] Scott also commented that the appearance of actress Mariska Hargitay was anti-climactic. An ongoing gag in the film is the use of "Mariska Hargitay" as a phony Hindi greeting.[9]

Roger Ebert gave the film 1 out of 4 stars, writing, "Myers has made some funny movies, but this film could have been written on toilet walls by callow adolescents. Every reference to a human sex organ or process of defecation is not automatically funny simply because it is naughty, but Myers seems to labor under that delusion."[10]

Harry Knowles of Ain't It Cool News was disgusted with the film, considering it one of the worst films of at least the past several years, and going so far as to declare it a career-killing movie for Myers.[11]

Razzie Awards[edit]

Nominee Category Result
Gary Barber
Michael De Luca
Mike Myers
Worst Picture Won
Mike Myers Worst Actor Won
Jessica Alba Worst Actress Nominated
Ben Kingsley Worst Supporting Actor Nominated
Verne Troyer Nominated
Mike Myers
Graham Gordy
Worst Screenplay Won
Marco Schnabel Worst Director Nominated
Mike Myers Worst Actor of the Decade (along with The Cat in the Hat) Nominated

Portrayal of Hinduism[edit]

Before the film's release, some Hindus expressed unhappiness about how Hindus are portrayed, the disrespect of their culture and the bad impression that it would give those not well exposed to Hinduism, while some gave a cautious welcome, asking other Hindus to look at it as satire and not the truth.[12] Rajan Zed, a Hindu leader from Nevada, demanded that Paramount Pictures screen the film for members of the Hindu community before its release. Based on the movie's trailer and MySpace page, Zed said The Love Guru "appears to be lampooning Hinduism and Hindus" and uses sacred terms frivolously. He told The Associated Press, "People are not very well-versed in Hinduism, so this might be their only exposure...They will have an image in their minds of stereotypes. They will think most of us are like that."[13]

Paramount Pictures agreed to provide the Hindu American Foundation an opportunity pre-screen the film as soon as it had a complete work print of the film, but did not do this.[14] Instead, it requested the Foundation attend a Minneapolis pre-screening the night before the film's release. HAF agreed to view the film to be able to inform the Hindu American community in light of concerned inquiries that were reported to its national headquarters. The reviewers concluded that the film was vulgar and crude but not necessarily anti-Hindu.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c The Love Guru at Box Office Mojo
  2. ^ Dan Goldwasser (2008-05-24). "George S. Clinton scores Mike Myers' The Love Guru". ScoringSessions.com. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  3. ^ The Love Guru on Beliefnet
  4. ^ Disclaimer about contents of The Love Guru Fan Resource Page from Beliefnet
  5. ^ "'Smart' Moviegoers Give 'Guru' No Love". America Online. Retrieved 2008-06-23. 
  6. ^ "The Love Guru (2008)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 11, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Love Guru, The (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  8. ^ Jay Stone (2008-06-19). "Love Guru is inoffensive to all except fans of comedy". National Post. Retrieved 2008-06-20. 
  9. ^ a b A. O. Scott (2008-06-20). "Just Say 'Mariska Hargitay' and Snicker". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  10. ^ Ebert, Roger (2008). The Love Guru, retrieved 30 June 2014
  11. ^ Harry Knowles (2008-06-19). "Harry says, 'If Shit Got THE LOVE GURU On It, Shit Would Wipe It Off!'". Aintitcoolnews.com. Retrieved 2008-07-13. 
  12. ^ Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Minister of Communications. "ISKCON North America’s Official Statement on The Love Guru". www.dandavats.com. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  13. ^ Sandy Cohen, Associated Press, "Myers' Latest Spoof Hits 'Ohm'," Entertainment, Seattle Times, March 28, 2008, accessed January 6, 2012.
  14. ^ "HAF Critical of Paramount Picture Refusal for Pre-Screening of 'The Love Guru'", Hindu American Foundation, accessed May 8, 2011.
  15. ^ "'The Love Guru' is Vulgar but not Hinduphobic, Say Hindus Attending Special Preview", Hindu American Foundation, June 20, 2008, accessed May 8, 2011.

External links[edit]