The Love Guru

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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
Editing by Billy Weber
Lee Haxall
Studio Spyglass Entertainment
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • June 20, 2008 (2008-06-20)
Running time 86 minutes
Country 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.

Plot[edit]

Darren Roanoke, the star player of the Toronto Maple Leafs, is suffering from stress because his wife, Prudence, has left him for Jacques "Le Coq" Grandé, who is the goaltender of rival team Los Angeles Kings, his nickname apparently a nod to being exceedingly well-endowed. Roanoke's stress causes his hand to shake, which affects his hockey performance, so team owner Jane Bullard enlists the support of Guru Maurice Pitka to help Darren with his stress so that the team can hopefully break their losing streak. In addition to getting a considerable payment, Pitka would be invited to Oprah Winfrey's show, which he hopes would help him become the #1 guru, a place currently held by Deepak Chopra. Pitka succeeds, but feels no need anymore to become #1, seeing that more important is his love for Bullard. However, in connection with a vow, Guru Tugginmypudha gave him a chastity belt. He returns to him to have it removed. Tugginmypudha agrees that it can be removed now and explains how to do that: to Pitka's surprise, no key is needed.

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]

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.[10]

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.[11] 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."[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

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. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Anuttama Dasa, ISKCON Minister of Communications. "ISKCON North America’s Official Statement on The Love Guru". www.dandavats.com. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  12. ^ Sandy Cohen, Associated Press, "Myers' Latest Spoof Hits 'Ohm'," Entertainment, Seattle Times, March 28, 2008, accessed January 6, 2012.
  13. ^ "HAF Critical of Paramount Picture Refusal for Pre-Screening of 'The Love Guru'", Hindu American Foundation, accessed May 8, 2011.
  14. ^ "'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]