The Love Guru – DVD Review

Available at Amazon.com

A lot of popular comedians these days seem to go by the notion “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it!” They tend to find a certain character or comedic style and milk it for all its worth. But more times than not, they continue performing the same act long after it has grown tired on audiences. Recently, perhaps no comedian has done that more than Mike Myers. Besides him voicing the animated character of Shrek the ogre, which is a extremely funny series of films, Myers has only had two funny characters: Wayne from Wayne’s World and Austin Powers, in nearly 20 years since he first appeared on Saturday Night Live. Both characters were extremely fresh and funny when they first appeared, but then Myers rode each character for nearly a decade each in hopes to continue his career. Now audiences are looking for something new from Mike Myers and Myers hopes that his new film, The Love Guru, will start another successful series of films that will sustain his career. But knowing Myers’ reputation to date, can a film written solely by Myers himself really be that fresh and funny?

In The Love Guru, Mike Myers stars as Guru Pitka, an orphan who was raised by gurus in India. Guru Pitka has now come to the US to seek his fortune in the self-help game. Pitka gets the chance he’s been hoping for when Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), owner of ice hockey team the Toronto Maple Leafs, asks for his help in reuniting star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) with his estranged wife, Prudence (Meagan Goode). Things are complicated by the fact that Prudence has started revenge-dating Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake), the well-endowed star player of rival hockey team the L.A. Kings, which has had a serious effect on Roanoke’s confidence.

Mike Myers is essentially playing the same character over and over again. Guru Pitka is like a bad combination of Austin Powers and Wayne, except he is just dressed up a little differently. But Myers is still doing his same old routine. But the movie is at its best when it’s not featuring Myers on screen, who basically just mugs at the camera far too many times. Romany Malco, Meagan Goode, and even Justin Timberlake and Jessica Alba are far funnier than Mike Myers in this film. Of course, what would a new Mike Myers film be without a Verne Troyer a.k.a. “Mini-Me” appearance. Even the verbal jabs that Myers and Troyer throw at each other here aren’t nearly as sharp as they once were in the beginning.

This film is not really funny, and the main reason for that is because Mike Myers wrote it himself. There have been a lot of funny comedies that featured immature comedy, but Myers decides to load The Love Guru with nothing but immature jokes, gross-out gags, and slapstick. Why is Myers so obsessed with penis jokes? It doesn’t help that the director, Marco Schnabel, lets Myers run wild and do whatever he wants. If all of that wasn’t bad enough, even all the witty semi-satirical cultural references that this film is based on will be lost on the majority of the audience. Sure, you may have heard of Deepak Chopra, but do you know who exactly he is? The Love Guru does attempt to deliver the message “that life is too complicated, and if we stop worrying about the little stuff and laugh at the silliness all around us, we will be happier people”, but it’s just hard to find when it’s buried underneath all the poop jokes.

Not everyone likes Mike Myers’ shtick, but even hardcore Myers fans will find less to enjoy in The Love Guru than his previous work. Myers’ “Guru Pitka” character combines all the unfunny parts of Wayne from wayne’s World and Austin Powers into one ill-conceived package. All of the witty and sharp dialogue that launched Myers’ career is nowhere to be found here. Instead it’s nothing but juvenile jokes one after another that all mostly fall flat. The supporting actors around Myers try to save this film, but this is the “Mike Myers Show” at its very worst. Mike should just stick to voicing Shrek, as long as he lets the writers of that series do their own thing.

The video is given in both 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen color, which is enhanced for 16:9 TVs. The video is pretty good with some vivid colors that pop out of the screen. No major problems at all.

The audio included is available in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound, or French Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround sound. There are subtitles available in English, Spanish, and French as well. The dialogue comes out loud and clear, but there is not much music in the film, so the surround sound is not used to its full potential. Still no major problems here either.

“Mike Myers and The Love Guru” Featurette
This runs 10 minutes and it’s basically your typical “behind-the-scenes” featurette. Mike Myers and the rest of the cast tell you how much they loved working on this film as they attempt a “hard sell” job. They really don’t give out any information that needs to be heard, though, so nothing “must-watch”.

“One Hellava Elephant” Featurette
This runs 6 minutes and it’s a closer look at the mechanical half-elephant and ostrich that was created for certain scenes in the film. Fairly interesting featurette on a small, yet memorable for all the wrong reasons, scene from the film.

“Hockey Training for Actors” Featurette
This runs 8 minutes and it’s supposed to tell you how the actors made the hockey scenes seem as real as possible. But it’s honestly not that interesting, since everyone keeps saying that this film has a “great story with hockey in it”.

Deleted and Extended Scenes
There are eleven deleted and extended scenes, including an alternate ending, that total 13 minutes. None of them are worth your time, though. Pretty much all of the jokes that were cut won’t make this film any funnier.

“Back in the Booth with Jay and Trent” Featurette
This runs 5 minutes and it features the two crazy sports announcers from the film, played by Jim Gaffigan and Steve Colbert. This is more bloopers and clips featuring them. They are actually funny, so check this out for sure.

Bloopers
There is four minutes of bloopers, and these are all actually mostly funny. The actors looked like they had fun.

Outtakes and More
There is also an additional 10 minutes of outtakes. Some of the scenes in the movie had alternate takes that had some different lines or physical comedy being performed. So here are those alternate takes, but nothing really that funny.

I can’t recommend a rental for anyone, except maybe extreme hardcore Mike Myers fans. If you enjoyed his previous work, it may be worth a rental, but only as a last resort. No one should add this to their DVD collection, unless it’s given to them absolutely free. Then, at least you can use it as a coaster.

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Paramount Home Entertainment presents The Love Guru. Directed by Marco Schnabel. Written by Mike Myers and Graham Gordy. Starring Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Justin Timberlake, Romany Malco, and Meagan Good. Running time: 86 minutes. Rated: PG-13. Released on DVD: September 16, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.

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