Follow TV Tropes


Film / The Love Guru

Go To

"His karma is huge."

The Love Guru is a 2008 comedy film directed by Marco Schnabel and starring Mike Myers in his first major live-action big-screen role following the Austin Powers trilogy.

It's the story of an American-born but Indian-raised self-help guru named Guru Pitka (Myers), whose dream is to surpass the famous Deepak Chopra as North America's number-one, go-to self-help guru. To do this, Toronto Maple Leafs manager Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) ropes him into helping the team's star player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) regain his confidence, as it has been severely shaken since his wife Prudence (Meagan Good) left him for his hockey rival Jacques "le Coq" Grandé (Justin Timberlake).

It also featured prominent performances from Verne Troyer, Stephen Colbert and even Sir Ben Kingsley, but none of it spared this largely scatological comedy from being condemned by both audiences and critics. Despite expectations that the film would revive Myers' career – he hadn't toplined a live-action film since 2003's The Cat in the Hat – it instead became one of 2008's biggest flops and was nominated for a whopping seven Razzies. It won three, for Worst Picture, Worst Actor, and Worst Screenplay.


  • Abusive Parents: The crux of Darren Roanoke's self-esteem issues stems from his mother Lilian, who's presented as domineering and only allowing affection if he were to pass her high expectations. When he tells her that he doesn't see her because of this (after goading from Pitka), she responds by socking him in the jaw. When he loses his nerve and runs for it when it's revealed that she's the guest seeker at her game (Jacque having planned it to sabotage him), all she has to say is that this was because she didn't pressure him enough.
    Lillian: Pressure makes diamonds.
    Pitka: Pressure also makes rubble.
  • Actor Allusion: Ben Kingsley, best known as Gandhi, in the role of Pitka's master.
  • Adam Westing: Ben Kingsley appearance is essentially a self-parody of his role in Gandhi, and as practitioners of exotic ancient mysticism.
  • Almost Kiss: With Jane and Pitka during the dinner scene but Pitka gets an erection causing his chastity belt to ding.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Stephen Colbert's color commentator character; almost all of his comments are gay-related Double Entendres.
  • Artistic License – Sports: Many egregious errors in the portrayal of Hockey, like the referee handing out on-the-spot game suspensions, goalies wearing outdated style plastic masks and Guru Pitka having free access to the Toronto bench.
  • Angrish: Pitka does this after he is punched in the testicles by Coach Cherkoff.
  • Ass Shove: The Bar Brawl ends with Pitka having a pool cue shoved up his butt.
  • Author Appeal: Mike Myers apparently made this movie out of his being a fan of both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the teachings of Deepak Chopra.
  • Beauty Inversion: Justin Timberlake is almost unrecognizable as Jacques with his wig and fake Porn Stache.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed:
    • Having a Gag Penis is the defining attribute of Jacques "le Coq" Grandé and Darren feels incredibly distressed by the idea of Prudence sleeping with him due to not being able to compare. He even has an Imagine Spot of her being mesmerized by Jacques's size.
    • In the deleted scene/extended ending when Pitka finally consumates his relationship with Jane, we hear the elephant-trumpeting noise that usually comes from the chastity belt, then we see a shot of the belt on the ground implying that Pitka is hung like an elephant.
  • Bland-Name Product: Not a product, but a person — Harold Ballard (former Maple Leafs owner) becomes Hank Bullard.
  • The Blind Leading the Blind: Guru Pitka claims that he can teach people how to get their relationships in order, but he's saddled with tons of romantic personal problems that no reliable self-help guru would ever have. Some of his advice may be somewhat sensible, but most of it consists of bad puns and fecal jokes. This is further backed up as some of the celebrities he has "helped" include Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes as well as the Beatles, both of which are rather notorious for breaking up.
  • Brick Joke: It's established early on that Guru Pitka has a fondness for '70s music arranged in the Bollywood style. The Dance Party Ending song is "The Joker", which wouldn't be especially significant except for it contains the line, 'some people call me Maurice', which is also mentioned early on as Pitka's real name.
  • The Cameo: So many different cameos:
    • Morgan Freeman has a sound-only cameo by proving the voice to Pitka's narrator machine, which comes with a "Morgan Freeman" setting.
    • Stephen Colbert as the Hockey Night In Canada commentator Jay Kell, who is obsessed with sex and has a drug addiction. Strangely, some people consider Colbert's performance to be the best in the movie.
    • Deepak Chopra, whom Guru Pitka says he aspires to be bigger than, makes a cameo as himself.
    • Oscar-winning actor Ben Kingsley as Pitka's cross-eyed mentor Guru Tugginmypudha.
    • John Oliver as Dick Pants, an advisor to Pitka. Apparently, Stephen Colbert wasn't the only The Daily Show correspondent they could get.
    • Samantha Bee, another former Daily Show correspondent (and a Canadian to boot), makes a brief cameo appearance as a cashier.
    • Jessica Simpson, Val Kilmer and 'Mariska Hargitay' greeting appear in Pitka's Ashram VIP room playing as themselves.
    • Mariska Hargitay name is used by Guru Pitka in a Running Gag early on as a greeting. She later shows up As Herself when Pitka names a new Ashram after her.
    • Mike Myers makes a cameo As Himself in his own movie, alongside Kanye West.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Near the climax Darren finally stands up to his mother.
  • Celibate Hero: Pitka, much to his chagrin. His chastity belt clanks when he gets a boner (usually around Jane) and does not protect him from groin attacks.
  • Celeb Crush: Jacques has a thing for fellow French-Canadian Céline Dion.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: Pitka can't be romantic with Jane because he won't get the key to his chastity belt until he self-actualizes. Once he does, Guru Tugginmypudha reveals that the chastity belt wasn't locked; he could've taken it off at any time.
  • Country Matters: Responding to a complaint that another character can't face something, Pitka says "What is it you can't face?" Now say it again in an Indian accent: "What is it, you cuntface?" This was used in a lot of advertising material.
  • Digital Head Swap: Done for Guru Pitka's child self (with Mike Myers' normal head).
  • Don't Explain the Joke
    Guru Pitka: Rajneesh, I'd like an alligator soup, and make it snappy! Because alligators are snappy, and at the same time, I want it prompt. [grins]
  • Easily Forgiven: Near the end of the movie, Jane has to make her way through the crowd, and when they jeer at and insult her, she snaps at them, complains about how hard her job is, and tells them that they can all "kiss my Canadian ass" — which somehow instantly wins over the crowd.
  • Experimented in College: Jane reveals that she had a girlfriend while in college, which leaves Pitka very distracted. Which, bizarrely enough, makes this the second movie in successive years (the first being Good Luck Chuck) where Jessica Alba played an otherwise strictly heterosexual woman who had a brief lesbian phase in college.
  • Emasculated Cuckold: Darren is extremely insecure that his wife left him for another man, especially since that man is his rival and famous for having an enormous penis. When Jacques confirms he and Prudence have indeed slept together, it causes Darren to have a Heroic BSoD in the middle of the game.
  • Foe Cooties: Darren is extremely upset that his ex-wife Prudence is dating his rival Jacques, especially since he feels insecure about Jacques "Le Coq" being the bigger man.
  • Foreign Cuss Word: French Canadian Jacques uses "tabarnak" when cursing.
  • Foreign Queasine: Instead of preparing a skunk's bottom, which Guru Pitka says is a lot like calamari, Rajneesh prepares Kartapal Birigalapatt, or "nuts in a sling": two lychees wrapped in a doughy pouch, crushed with a meat mallet, boiled in oil, then served with a pickle and curly fries. Jane Bullard, played by Jessica Alba, declines and has soup instead.
  • Funny Background Event: Jacques sings to Prudence while Pitka is being attacked by Jacques's pet Rooster in the background.
  • Gag Penis: Jacques Grandé is called "Le Coq" for his enormous equipment. We see a scene of him dropping his Modesty Towel in the locker which is followed by a "thud" sound, and the female reporter gawks at it in awe (We only see him from the waist up). He even has a red cockatrice symbol painted all around his house.
  • Groin Attack:
    • Cherkoff uses the capital of Thailand prank on Pitka and punches him in the crotch. Pitka groans instantly and covers himself he doubles over and exclaims "Omar Sharif! My BALLS! and groans "oh-ho!" then drops to the ground still cradling himself he groans and complains "My 'Balls' you prick" and angrishly curses.
    • Just seconds prior to the Bangkok scene, after another game lost, the next Running Gag of the animated mascots hitting each other with the Toronto Maple Leafs mascot is whacked in the crotch with a hockey stick by the Los Angeles Kings mascot, it grabs its groin and doubled over then falls down.
  • Hapless Self-Help: Pitka consoles others on their romantic lives with completely nonsensical advice despite always being in messes of his own making.
  • Heroic BSoD: This happens to Darren towards the end of the movie, first when his mother shows up unannounced to watch the hockey game and later when Jacques implies that he and Prudence have already slept together.
  • Ice-Cream Koan: Just about every advice by Pitka, such as "If your Uncle Jack helped you off an elephant, would you help your uncle jack off an elephant?"
  • Inherently Funny Words: Pitka is always spewing names that sound like this ("Mariska Hargitay!").
  • In-Joke: Darren and Prudence have an intimate joke of saying "Damn!" whenever they had really good sex. When Jacques whispers "Damn!" to him, it cause Darren to freeze up in jealousy since it confirms to him that Prudence and Jacques not only slept together, but she also enjoyed it.
  • May–December Romance: Pitka and Jane, with Jane being 18 years younger.
  • My Beloved Smother: Darren's mother pressured him to succeed from a young age, and only showed him affection when he did so. This was part of the reason for his marriage troubles with Prudence as he believed she would only love him as long as he succeeded like his mom.
  • Madness Mantra: After meeting Jessica Simpson. Pitka says "I’m beautiful and I have a secret" as he mimes masturbating with an ahegao facial expression.
  • Mythology Gag: A voiceover machine is used in the ending of The Cat in the Hat.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: The movie trailer has Don LaFontaine (aka The Movie Trailer Guy) on the Voiceover Machine. The final product has Morgan Freeman.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Justin Timberlake's French-Canadian accent. However, he does still say "tabarnak", which is probably the strongest Quebec French profanity.
  • Overly Long Gag: The mating dance with the two elephants.
  • Poke in the Third Eye: A literal example, through Pitka's use of Howdahurdaghi.
  • Punny Name: In addition to the punny titles for Guru Pitka's self-help books, the film features several sex-suggestive and generally character-accurate punny names, including Guru Tugginmypudha, Coach Cherkoff, and Jacques Grande.
  • Raging Stiffie: Happens to Pitka twice. First after Jane reveals to him that she had a lesbian phase in college. The second when she leans in to kiss him on the cheek during dinner together.
  • Running Gag: Guru Pitka's use of actress Mariska Hargitay's name as a greeting. Ironically, she appears later on in the movie as herself, in which Pitka promises to name a new building after her.
  • Self-Abuse: Pitka is told by his severely crosseyed teacher that if he masturbates, he will become cross-eyed.
  • Sex God: The alternate ending has Pitka and Jane finally sleeping together, and he apparently completely overwhelms her with his sexual prowess, making her jump out of the Modesty Bedsheet in a disheveled mess while exclaiming "Damn".
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: Prudence is introduced coming out of the pool in Jacques's manor, with plenty of Male Gaze as the camera slowly pans up her body.
  • Share the Male Pain: Like Austin Powers, Pitka actually feels the male pain when something similar to a genital is destroyed. During a diner scene a meal called "nuts in a sling" is prepared by Pitka’s assistant. It is two lychee nuts in a dough pouch. His assistant asks him if he wants his nuts crushed and Pitka responds incredulously with "doesn’t everyone". As they are whacked with the wooden mallet Pitka exclaims and grunts and groans. Jane goes from entertained to wincing. He shouts out his safe word. The next step is dipping it in hot oily water. Pitka groans in discomfort at first, hissing and groaning then moans in pleasure.
  • Shout-Out:
    • When Pitka is fiddling with Darren's car stereo and "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on, he briefly smirks at the camera.
    • During the dinner scene, Pitka mimicks Turn Your Head and Cough, which is what Austin Powers did in Goldmember with the fuzzy dice in his time travel car.
    • Pitka presents Mariska Hargitay with a "Special Victims" themed ashram miniature, complete with a button that does the Law & Order Signature Sound Effect.
    • Pitka is unfamiliar with hot dogs and wonders if they're really serving dog genitals or if he's being Series/Punkd.
    • A picture of "Guru Wars" is on a magazine cover, complete with lightsabers.
  • Smoke Out: Pitka and Rajneesh escape an angry Jacques at a nightclub by throwing a smoke bomb and instantly disappearing.
  • Toilet Humor: A huge part of this movie's comedy, including a scene involving jousting with urine-soaked mops.
  • Trade Snark:
    • Guru Pitka appends "TM" on advice-giving acronyms.
    • And on the posters for the film itself, the title has a "TM" by it.
  • Two Decades Behind: Jacques Jason Voorhees-style goalie mask was about thirty years out of date when the film came out.
  • Vanity License Plate: Jacques has "Big Coq" on the plate of his car.
  • Vow of Celibacy: Pitka at 12 years old is forced to wear a chastity belt with an Elephant head codpiece. It does not protect its contents from groin attacks.