For the first half hour of this badly misconceived Mike Myers movie, I did not laugh. I didn't snort softly to myself. I didn't really even respond to the impotent premise (white kid raised in India becomes a New Age guru), the cardboard jokes (a voiceover machine that makes everyone sound like Morgan Freeman, Indian names that sound like references to genitalia), or the lifeless direction. The Love Guru is just that numbing. With the exception of Myers, whose voluminous beard and greasy mustache obscures his face and prevents any expression of emotion from registering with the audience, everyone in the film looks embarrassed to be there. And there are a plenty of embarrassed-looking people, because Myers has collected cameos like talismans against the vicious reception he must have known was coming—Jessica Simpson, Kanye West, Oprah, Deepak Chopra... even Mariska Hargitay from Law & Order: SVU, whose exotic name is appropriated for an unfunny joke that gets repeated approximately 50 times.
When Myers isn't making inane pseudo-puns, he's exploiting stereotypes of relatively defenseless sub-minorities, such as French-Canadians and black women. Classy. Once you're reconciled to the pathetic depths to which The Love Guru will sink, though, there are a few glimmers of funny. First is an exuberant Bollywood sequence with Jessica Alba that doesn't appear to have been rehearsed very thoroughly. It's as though all the energy the crew could muster went to the one scene with blissfully little connection to the world of the rest of the movie. Second is the series of ever-escalating acts of violence by Guru Pitka against a midget (Verne Troyer, made famous as Mini-Me), which are so utterly unmotivated that they tip over the edge of offensive and into a miasma of free-floating id. Guru Pitka's petty aggression also offers an excuse to redirect your contempt for the film to an individual: Conveniently, he is played by Mike Myers himself.