Directed by: Marco Schnabel
Starring: Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Romany Marco, and Justin Timberlake
Mike Myers is known for his any comedic characters: Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers, and my favorite Dieter from Sprockets on Saturday Night Live. Enter the Guru Pitka, an American born relationship therapist with a flair for puns and trademark phrases, literally. While this movie was panned by critics and tanked at the box office, I found myself really enjoying it. While it is not high end comedy, it is a light hearted movie with plenty of fun moments.
The Love Guru follows a second string Eastern philosophy relationship expert that is more interested in selling his name and merchandise than actual inner piece. However, a superstar hockey player leaves his wife and in the process his Stanley Cup worthy playing skills. Since his team wants to win it all, they hire Guru Pitka to fix his relationship. The plot gets thicker though, when the player’s wife meets a well endowed French Canadian goalie, played by Justin Timberlake. His name: Jacques “Le Cocke” Grande.
It seems this movie has either fans or detractors. I for one thought it was entertaining and funny. While the movie is filled with many quips and plays on words, this is a trademark of a Mike Myers film. There are a lot of word jokes and situational comedy elements. These are things I still enjoy. I think a lot of negative reviews come from the fact that comedy has become more edgy, especially in a world of Superbad and The 40-Year Old Virgin, but let’s remember we found this stuff funny in the 1990s and it is still funny today. Besides, dick and fart jokes never go out of style in this humble critic’s opinion.
While the plot may a bit formulaic, the acting makes up for it. I liked all of the characters; even Justin Timberlake does a great job playing the villain. Some may say that Guru Pitka is only an Indian version of Austin Powers and they are partially right, but Mike Myers really knows how to make an audience laugh. Surprisingly, Romany Marco went to a quick hockey camp to learn the game and this pays off for the on the ice action of the film. While he’s not playing a full game his acting and performance show the work he put into the film.
Either love or hate this movie, there is something funny for everyone. While I wouldn’t have honestly bought the Blu-Ray version of this movie, it is indeed funny and an entertaining way to spend time on a comedy. This movie is a solid rental, but may be DVD worthy for purchase.
Since the review copy is blu-ray, the film is in high definition up to 1080p. The aspect ratio is 2.35:1. While this isn’t a movie to test the abilities of blu-ray or an HD television, the presentation is gorgeous. A lot of the movie is filmed with Indian inspired set and bright Eastern color patterns, so the movie is really bright and vivid. The colors are separate and really pop on screen. On a smaller level, the hockey games are phenomenal. There really is nothing like 1080p ice from a hockey rink. The film quality matches that of most theaters. However, there aren’t a lot of special effects to test the technology.
The audio is DolbyTrue HD 5.1. While the audio presentation is crisp and true to life, I found myself adjusting the volume during the musical numbers. This is a small complaint, but I hate to do that during a movie. However, I will not blame the movie audio on a possible flaw in my audio video set up. Speaking of the musical numbers, they were really loud and added a lot to the film. Thanks to the Dolby True HD, the Indian music was wonderfully done on screen.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This is where this feature shines the most. It comes with a standard definition digital copy of the film for free. I know this is becoming commonplace, but to me it shows the studios commitment to giving the consumer more for their money. Plus, not everyone has blu-ray and can allow a person to share the film. Good move Paramount. The outtakes and deleted scenes are rather hilarious as well. The Steven Colbert hockey announcer deleted scenes had me rolling from laughter.
The makings of featurettes are something I usually skip, but the one on how the actors had to learn hockey really shows the time the makers of The Love Guru took to show a close to authentic hockey experience. If you are a “making of” fan, these features really are a nice addition.
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10
The Video 9/10
The Audio 8/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 9/10
Overall (Not an Average) 8/10