Buried inside The Love Guru, there's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to Wayne's World, and man, is it depressing. I know Wayne's World isn't necessarily a work of cinematic genius, but it was funny when I was 12, and it's funny now—which is more than I can say for Mike Myers' latest, which is sloppy and bland and the exact opposite of funny.
The Love Guru is the latest film in which Myers invents a character who would've been fantastic on Saturday Night Live, and then proceeds to desperately wring any and all charm out of him for the next 90 minutes. This time it's His Holiness Guru Pitka, the "world's second-most popular neo-eastern self-help specialist." Guru Pitka speaks in a faux Indian accent, spouts off new-age bullshit, and lectures people about their "shame cores," usually while giggling like a retarded kindergartner and making oh-so-silly faces.
Other things happen in The Love Guru, too: Guru Pitka falls in love with Jessica Alba; Justin Timberlake impersonates Borat; Mini-Me gets hit in the face with a hockey puck; Guru Pitka fights a rooster; people get splattered with pee; Mini-Me gets defibrillated and flung across a hockey rink; indulgent cameos are handed out to Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer, and Morgan Freeman. (Another cameo marks the first of The Love Guru's two clever moments: Kanye West, awkwardly paired with Myers for the first time since that "George Bush doesn't care about black people" business.) As Guru Pitka plays Dolly Parton's "9 to 5" and Alias' "More Than Words Can Say" on the sitar, Sir Ben Kingsley, the least shameful man in Hollywood, shows up as Guru Pitka's mentor, the farting, cross-eyed Guru Tugginmy-pudha. (Other zany character names include "Coach Cherkov" and "Dick Pants"!)
Following some sappy self-help moralizing in the third act, Mini-Me gets hit in the face one last time, and then, in film's second clever moment, everything blurs into a exuberant, vibrant, Bollywood-inspired musical number, soundtracked by a sitar-ized version of the Steve Miller Band's "The Joker." Maybe that sequence is genuinely great, or maybe I was just stoked 'cause I could feel the end credits coming, but either way, at least The Love Guru ends on a positive note. The rest of it, as Wayne Campbell would say, blows chunks.