Fish out of water films are usually pretty dull. In the mid 80s America saw a plethora of films with that premise including such hits as 'Crocodile Dundee', 'Star Trek IV The Voyage Home', and the 'Back to the Future' trilogy. After a short while the genre got stale really quick, yet Hollywood still released such abysmal movies like 'Crocodile Dundee Part 2'.
These movies still haunt us to this day; however once in a blue moon audiences are treated to something that will actually make them laugh. 'The Guru' opened with lukewarm reviews and a paper thin showing at the box office; however this is one of those gems that I enjoy.
Most romantic comedies are your standard fare of boy meets girl, boy pisses off girl, boy does something embarrassing to apologize to girl, girl takes boy back. 'The Guru' is really no different; however the stabs it makes at our pop culture are enough to keep me smiling.
Jimi Mistry plays an Indian film lover with dreams of becoming a star. He moves to America after convincing his family that he's going to do more here than drive a cab. Unbeknownst to him his first audition lands him in a porn where he meets Heather Graham (god bless her and everything she stands for). Having no experience in getting naked on camera Jimi fails at this gig miserably.
Frustrated by his lack of success he inadvertently gets hired to play a spiritual guru at a party for a few of New York's elite. Having no experience in the cult arts he acts his way through the role and everyone buys it. His success at telling people how to mix sex and spirituality makes him a huge success and with the help of his first disciple, played by the cute Marisa Tomei, he's running his own meditation consulting for the rich (can you say Kabbalah?).
Jimi of course has no great wisdom about sex so he hires Heather Graham to teach him her secrets. After promising not to reveal the information to anyone, which of course he breaks numerous times, he ends up falling in love with the porn star with a heart of gold stereotype. With that the plot thickens.
The movie isn't full of laughs, but enough to keep you watching. The acting is at times over the top and if you've never seen a Bollywood film you might not get some of the humor.
There is one aspect of the film that I can't praise enough and that is Heather Graham. Throughout the film she morphes from the adorable sweet natured girl to sexy as hell porn star. In one of her lessons Jimi finds himself a little too excited and I'm sure the males in the audience were as well.
'The Guru' takes numerous shots at our pop culture, the silliness of Bollywood musicals, and the sheep like mentality of our naive American brethren. These subjects are always worth ridiculing; however few do it well. The movie doesn't delve deep into the insanity of stardom and celebrity culture, but it's enough to keep you laughing and it's never pretentious. We all know someone who have fell victim to the much hyped trends such as low carb diets and blind loyalty to Oprah and that makes watching 'The Guru' all the much more enjoyable.
"This is the kind of movie for which the term 'guilty pleasure' was coined." - Chris Vognar
Music video from the Guru including the uber hot moves of the lovely Heather Graham