Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
While The Love Guru is not a movie about hockey, hockey plays such an important roll in the story that a review is definitely in order, especially if it saves anyone from having to sit through 87 minutes of pain.
Guru Maurice Pitka (Mike Myers) has his services enlisted to help the star player of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Darren Roanoke, get his wife back, who has left him for the goaltender of the Los Angeles Kings, Jacques “Le Coq” Grande (Justin Timberlake), and, yes, he has received his nickname because of his large penis.
I am focusing on the hockey elements of the film in this review and the most obvious disappointment is that the sport is not portrayed in any favourable way. It is merely, in my opinion, another example of National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman thinking that any attention hockey receives in the media has to be a good thing and will help sell it to the much-coveted American audience.
The traits that are presented in this film include selfish, flashy play; bench clearing brawls; the idea that hockey games are about fighting first and foremost; and egotistical stars.
While the makers of the film did do a good job in making the action scenes realistic with the use of former professional hockey players, they didn’t seem to give a thought to presenting the play in any realism. Rob Blake plays himself in the movie as the star of the Kings and, even though he is well known as a defenseman, takes a face-off in a key moment of the film. Defensemen don’t take face-offs unless the forwards have suddenly been struck with a case of hysterical blindness or something along those lines.
Without question, the thought of the Toronto Maple Leafs winning the Stanley Cup is the only thing in the movie that can be called comedy.
Due to the stature of this being a big budget film, it has only set back any thoughts of hockey being perceived as a serious sport to anyone that views the film without a good grasp of the game. Most shameful is that the star, Mike Myers, calls himself a hockey fan, but was willing to portray the sport he claims to love in this manner. The saving grace is that the film was a gigantic critical flop that will hopefully remove any credibility it may have had.