Not even a guru could love this tired shtick.

Not even a guru could love this tired shtick.

Remember when you first saw trailers for Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and you thought to yourself that this movie would probably be incredibly stupid, yet your inner craving for guilty pleasures made you see it, anyway? And somehow, joy of joys, the film turned out to be fun, clever, and very funny? Well, don't hold out that same hope for The Love Guru.

Mike Meyers attempts to revive his career with another zany character, this time an American transplanted to India as a child, who's studied to become a guru. Now all grown up, he can lead others to love, but he can't love himself. What he can do is generate hundreds of jokes concerning genitalia, mucous and excrement as he sings all four verses of the Dolly Parton classic 9 to 5. And isn't that exactly the brand of entertainment you were looking for?

Guru Pitka (Myers) is hired by Toronto Maple Leafs owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) to reunite star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco)-"the Tiger Woods of hockey"-with his estranged wife, Prudence (Meagan Good), returning the athlete to his former abilities and helping the team win the Stanley Cup. Or something like that. Honestly, does the story really matter? What's important is that the plot sets up unending opportunities for penis jokes, flatulence humor, and a single-minded resolve to include urine in as many scenes as possible.

Indeed, Myers and co-writer Graham Gordy deserve credit for their sheer tenacity in terms of bringing toilet humor to the screen, as well as plenty of sinus-related gags. In case this material wears thin, Verne Troyer is on hand as Leafs coach Punch Cherkov, providing ample opportunity for humor at his expense. (At least we know he can pay his electric bill this month.)

Guru Pitka tries to teach intimacy, or "Into Me I See." Oh, yeah, the film's got a million of these clever little gems. By the time you've learned the meaning of the anagrams DRAMA, BIBLE, and BLOWME, though, you may have lost the will to live. On the other hand, if this is your definition of clever word play, then you'll likely find the character names-like Dick Pants-and settings-like Pitka's hometown of Harrenmakeester-a laugh riot.

The friendly, smiling, energetic Myers is a hard comic to dislike, and I wanted this film to work. It just doesn't. Characters and jokes are retreads, and it's as self-indulgent as any film out this summer.

Though the highlights are few and far between, Stephen Colbert and Jim Gaffigan alleviate some of the pain during their scenes as hockey analysts, and a cameo toward the end of the film draws at least a grin.

Otherwise, The Love Guru has nothing to offer beyond a ceaseless pummeling of shit jokes, midget humor, and "clever" anagrams.

Hope Madden

Rating: *