Adam Sandler can breathe a sigh of relief: Thanks to fellow SNL alumus Mike Myers' crude, bafflingly unfunny comedy, Sandler's YOU DON'T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN won't be remembered as the worst movie of 2008.
Thanks to a string of self-help best-sellers like "If You're Happy and You Know It, Think Again," and his popular, acronym-filled sutras on the subjects of self-fulfillment and self-love, Guru Pitka (Mike Myers) is the world-famous representative of some vaguely Hindu-sounding belief system... and he's not even Indian. Pitka's parents were missionary doggy-stylists (there's a smutty joke there, but don't bother looking for it -- it isn't funny) who left him an orphan in India, where he was raised by one cross-eyed Guru Tugginmypuddah (Sir Ben Kingsley). When the guru learned his protege only wanted to become a guru to meet girls, he slapped a chastity belt on young Pitka, promising to remove it the day Pitka learned to love himself. Only then, Tugginmypuddah explained, could Pitka ever hope to truly love another. But as successful as Pitka subsequently became, he never learned that all-important lesson. He's also failed to rise above petty professional rivalry: Pitka's greatest ambition is to best his rival, number-one self-help guru Deepak Chopra, by appearing on Oprah. Pitka gets a shot at a spot with the big O when his manager, Dick Pants (John Oliver), gets a call from Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team owner Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba). Her star player, Darren Roanoke (Weeds' Romany Malco), has been off his game ever since his wife, Prudence (Meagan Good), learned he was cheating on her and decamped with legendarily endowed Quebecoise goalieJacques "Le Coq" Grande (Justin Timberlake), of the L.A. Kings. Over the objections of the Maple Leafs' skeptical coach (Verne Troyer), Jane hires Guru Pitka to work his magic on Darren: If Darren can win his wife back, the Maple Leafs might have a chance at winning the Stanley Cup from the L.A. Kings. And a high-profile success in Toronto will nab him Guru Pitka his coveted hour with Oprah.
Fart jokes, penis jokes, piss jokes, homophobic slurs, naughty names and jokes at the expense of South Asian culture and religion: Jokes, jokes everywhere and not a laugh is heard. You have to wonder what Myers was thinking. He seems to be taking satirical aim at Hollywood's affection for all things empty and New Age, but the moment the music swells and Alba's eyes get all misty, it becomes appallingly clear that at least some of this crap is meant to be taken seriously. With his long wig, false beard and prosthetic nose, it's easy to see why Myers is in disguise: He's hiding. A bomb like this is a career killer, and Myers' is set to blow. leave a comment --Ken Fox