George Kraychyk, Paramount Pictures
Mike Myers stars as Guru Pitka in the comedy "The Love Guru." <BR>

THE LOVE GURU — * — Mike Myers, Jessica Alba, Romany Malco; rated PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, profanity, brief drugs, brief sex, slurs, brief gore)

While he has been providing the voice of the main character in the animated "Shrek" movies, it's been five years since Mike Myers made his last live-action comedy.

So there was some question as to whether his supposed comeback vehicle, "The Love Guru," would be even cruder and more outrageous than his last live-action hits — the three "Austin Powers" comedies.

But surprisingly, "Love Guru" is fairly tame, at least by the usual Myers standards. While there's a lot of the expected sexual material and other questionable, objectionable content, it's not quite as smutty as those aforementioned movies.

However, knowing that doesn't improve this particular film. It's pretty dull and painfully unfunny, and it almost makes you long for the return of his irksome Austin Powers character.

Myers co-wrote the script and stars as the title character, Guru Pitka. A would-be self-help specialist, Pitka is now trying to aid Toronto Maple Leafs star Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco).

Darren has been in a slump since he broke things off with his wife, Prudence (Meagan Good). So the Maple Leafs owner, Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba), is paying Pitka to reunite the two former lovebirds — hoping that will inspire Darren and help the team finally win the Stanley Cup.

Unfortunately, Prudence is now seeing one of Darren's rivals, cocky Los Angeles Kings goalie Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake).

Myers and co-screenwriter Graham Gordy's script heavily relies on crudities and mean-spirited observations about Middle-Eastern stereotypes. Also, first-time director Marco Schnabel can't even mount a successful spoof of Bollywood musicals.

And as a performer, Myers is simply doing another silly accent here. Though to be honest, none of the actors seem too excited about this material.

"The Love Guru" is rated PG-13 for crude sexual material (sight gags, references and other suggestive sexual language), vulgar scatological humor, supposedly comic violence (hockey fights, a bar brawl and assorted slapstick), scattered profanity, brief drug content and references, brief sexual contact (including animal sex), derogatory slurs based on sexual preference and brief gore. Running time: 88 minutes.


E-mail: jeff@desnews.com