If you don't count his vocal work in the Shrek films, The Love Guru marks the return of Mike Myers to the big screen after a five-year absence. Last seen in 2003's The Cat in the Hat, Myers is now unveiling -- or is that unleashing? -- a new character, Guru Pitka, a self-help maven who brings the spiritual teachings he learned from Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley) in India to America. Much like Austin Powers, Guru Pitka gives Myers an opportunity to play to what he thinks of as his strengths, giving us an outlandish-looking character with a thick accent and a fish-out-of-water back story. The problem is that Pitka's entirely too much like Austin Powers -- not a character, but instead a series of catchphrases, makeup appliances and goofy mannerisms that lets Meyers indulge in his penchant for sex gags, bodily-function gags and constant, self-satisfied glances at the camera.
Any time you review a film like this negatively, people ask "Why can't you just enjoy a few laughs?" And I can't give a simple answer to that, but I think it comes down to the fact that I can't just enjoy a few laughs if they're surrounded by a much larger chaotic mass of things that aren't funny. So it is with The Love Guru, as Pitka's brought to Toronto to help Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs, get her broken-hearted star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) over his girlfriend Prudence (Megan Good) leaving him for L.A. Kings goalie Jacques "Le Coq" Grande (Justin Timberlake) so that the Leafs might win the Stanley Cup. The occasional funny bit is drowned out by the mass and might of Meyers's self-indulgent eagerness to wallow in his obsessions -- poop, accents, naughty talk, makeup and innuendo.