God is Dead (And Other Explanations for The Love Guru)

In a recent New Yorker essay on the subject of theodicy, James Wood wrote: Theologians and philosophers talk about ‘the

In a recent New Yorker essay on the subject of theodicy, James Wood wrote:

Theologians and philosophers talk about ‘the problem of evil,’ and the hygienic phrase itself bespeaks a certain distance from extreme suffering, the view from a life inside the charmed circle. They mean the classic difficulty of how we justify the existence of suffering and iniquity with belief in a God who created us, who loves us, and who providentially manages the world.

With this philosophical framework in mind, let’s look at some of the reviews of Mike Myers’ The Love Guru.

“A whole new vocabulary seems to be required. To say that the movie is not funny is merely to affirm the obvious. The word ‘unfunny’ surely applies to Mr. Myers’s obnoxious attempts to find mirth in physical and cultural differences but does not quite capture the strenuous unpleasantness of his performance. No, ‘The Love Guru’ is downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again.”–Just Say ‘Mariska Hargitay’ and Snicker, by A.O. Scott, The New York Times, June 20, 2008.

“It’s a thrift-store hodgepodge of one-liners you last heard around the monkey bars in fourth grade (‘I’d like an alligator soup and make it snappy’), goofs on Indian-sounding names (Ben Kingsley plays his teacher, Guru Tugginmypudha) and dull self-help acronyms (GURU: ‘Gee, You Are You’).”–Stop Making Incense, by Kyle Smith, The New York Post, June 20, 2008.

“There are good movies. There are bad movies. There are movies so bad they’re good (though, strangely, not the reverse). And once in a while there is a movie so bad that it takes you to a place beyond good and evil and abandons you there, shivering and alone. Watching The Love Guru (Paramount Pictures) is a spiritual experience of a sort, but not the sort that its creator and star, Mike Myers, intended.”–No Love for The Love Guru, by Dana Stevens, Slate, June 19, 2008.

“‘The Love Guru’ is so relentlessly juvenile as to merit a new twist on the PG-13 rating—one that strongly cautions not only those under 13 but anyone much above it, too.”–The Love Guru, by Brian Lowry, Variety, June 17, 2008.

God is Dead (And Other Explanations for The Love Guru)