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Mike Myers goes meta 

In a bad way.

TRY AGAIN: Our reviewer hopes Myers (right, with co-star Jessica Alba) does better next time.
  • TRY AGAIN: Our reviewer hopes Myers (right, with co-star Jessica Alba) does better next time.

Ah, Mike Myers, you've broken ground yet again, but I have questions.

I love you, I really do, and I want you to remember that. You've had me quite literally crying and hurting from laughter. You've given me some memorably funny moments, helped define a generation of comedy, and even managed to get a word or two in the Oxford English Dictionary. I've stolen so much of your shtick that I probably owe you money.

Hence my confusion: Why would you make it your next goal to be the first man to turn ambivalence into a movie?

I went into “The Love Guru” wanting to love it. Ready for silliness and non sequitur, willing to embrace jokes about poop and genitals and really bad puns, not expecting an Oscar-caliber anything whatsoever. But seriously, did you read the script you wrote? Because I heard it spoken out loud, and I've got to tell you, that wasn't a Mike Myers movie. It was more like a half-assed copy of a Mike Myers movie, the sort of thing I would have watched and thought “That dude's trying really hard to be Mike Myers,” were it not for the fact that you actually are Mike Effing Myers.

Romany Malco was pretty good as the star hockey player, though. In fact, you guys play off one another beautifully, and Justin Timberlake was amusing too. But Stephen Colbert was wasted and Ben Kingsley was full of Oh Dear God No. Jessica Alba does her normal thing as the second coming of Jennifer Love Hewitt, which I don't really have a problem with, but my wife does.

It wasn't all bad, of course. You yourself were in fact the best thing about it, because you're just that funny and charming. Through all of the stupidity masquerading as silliness, you just won me over and actually had me laughing at roughly half of your jokes. But even this is a bittersweet recollection, because I think it's the first time in history that a comedian has actually risen above his own material. Think about that for a moment: You've gone meta.

I know they can't all be gems. Not everything is going to live up to “Austin Powers” or “So I Married an Axe Murderer.” It's just that I haven't heard from you for so long (I don't really count the “Shrek” movies as Mike Myers movies), and I guess my hopes were a little high. So we'll just ignore this one, and if I may be so bold, I'd like to make a few suggestions on how to move on from here:

Drop the midget jokes. It's good you're giving Verne Troyer work, but seriously, the midget jokes are played out.

Get better female leads, and write better female characters. Alba's nice to look at, but she's no Nancy Travis on screen.

Stick with the silliness and non sequitur, but dear God man, not everything should be a set-up for a punchline.

Racial humor is a tightrope, and kudos to you for trying to walk it. But it's a very small sweet spot between weak racial humor and offensive racial humor where the real laughs live, and you erred too much on the side of weakness. Think twice before trying it again.

I'm ready for more, really looking forward to seeing you play Walter Mitty. So take your licks, go have a shower, and get back on it. We'll try again next summer, OK? Mariska Hargitay.

Matthew Reed

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