Friday, May 30, 2008

"The Love Guru" goes overboard with little people jokes?

LP actor Verne Troyer plays a hockey coach
in the new Mike Meyers film, "The Love Guru."

You know it's potentially over-the-top when movie reviewers who know little about disability issues complain about insulting jokes.

The Slate magazine podcast about popular culture reviewed the new Mike Meyers movie, "The Love Guru," which comes out June 20, and said the repeated jokes at the expense of little people really annoyed them.

The Trailer Spotting blog also questioned the old repetitive comedy in the upcoming Meyers movie: "How many comedies can you built on jokes about midgets, dicks and promotion for the Toronto Maple Leafs?"

TheScreengrab blog also complained: "It’s clear that Mike Myers, the one-time Gen X comedy staple come animated franchise emperor, needs to stop going back to the well as the well is full of nothing but annoying silly voices and midget jokes."

The film's plot: "Pitka (Mike Myers) is an American who was left at the gates of an ashram in India as a child and raised by gurus. He moves back to the U.S. to seek fame and fortune in the world of self-help and spirituality. His unorthodox methods are put to the test when he must settle a rift between Toronto Maple Leafs star hockey player Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) and his estranged wife. After the split, Roanoke's wife starts dating L.A. Kings star Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake) out of revenge, sending her husband into a major professional skid - to the horror of the teams' owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) and Coach Cherkov (Verne Troyer). Pitka must return the couple to marital nirvana and get Roanoke back on his game so the team can break the 40-year-old 'Bullard Curse and win the Stanley Cup."

The Hindu community has already registered its problems with the film. U.S.-based Hindu leaders spoke out against The Love Guru in late April, saying it has a "potentially offensive and religiously insensitive premise," according to E! online.

Critics in India came together in early May to ask that the film be banned altogether from the country's cineplexes. A representative for the influential Mumbai-based Janjagruti Samiti and Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality says the film "plays into stereotypes and potentially ridicules the religion's beliefs."

Even the trailer includes some of the jokes at the expense of little people.