Australian Council on Children and the Media

Love Guru, The

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Not suitable for children under 13, PG to 15 (Sexual references, crude humour, violence, coarse language and drug references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Love Guru, The
  • a review of Love Guru, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 July 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not suitable due to sexual references, crude humour, violence, coarse language and drug references
Children 13 - 15 Parental guidance recommended due to sexual references, crude humour, coarse language and drug references

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Love Guru, The
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Frequent sexual references, Some coarse language and drug references
Length 86 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Guru Pitka (Mike Myers), who was raised as a young boy by the Guru Tugginmypudha (Ben Kingsley) is now a new age self-help spiritualist. Guru Pitka has made it to the top. He is a best selling author, has a palace-like home, servants at his beck and call, and loads of groupies. But for all his success, Guru Pitka is an unhappy man. He is number two on the popular Guru chart and wants to be number one, a spot is held by his rival Deepak Chopra, who appears regularly on the Oprah show. Guru Pitka believes that appearing on the Oprah Show is the key to outshining his rival and as a result becomes obsessed with gaining an appearance.
Darren Roanoke (Romany Malco) is a hockey superstar for the Toronto Maple Leafs, but since Darren’s wife Prudence (Megan Good) left him for rival hockey player, Jacques Grande (Justin Timberlake), Darren’s performance on the ice rink has been dismal. The owner of the Maple Leafs, Jane Bullard (Jessica Alba) hires Guru Pitka to help Darren win his wife back and Guru Pitka hopes that successfully reuniting Darren with his wife will be ensure him a spot on the Oprah Show. However, to get Darren back together with Prudence, Guru Pitka must overcome several obstacles, including the Maple Leafs coach, Coach Punch Cherkov (Verne Troyer) and Darren’s overbearing mother (Telma Hopkins).

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Rivalry; relationships

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The Love Guru contains on-field sports violence and slapstick-type violence, with some blood and gore seen. Examples include:

  • A man on an ice-making machine is hit in the head and knocked unconscious by an ice puck and then a hockey stick.    
  • Guru Pitka threatens some men that he knows an Indian martial art called “Howtohurtaguy.”
  • A man tells another man that he will rip off his head and shit down his neck.
  • During a hockey game we see players being elbowed in the face, knocked to the ground, falling hard onto their backs on the ice, hit over the head with hockey sticks, and punching each other in the stomach, head and face. We see a player slam another player’s head into a goal support several times (there is some blood on the man’s face and he is missing a tooth).
  • During a hockey game, Darren deliberately shoots a hockey puck at Punch Cherkov hitting Cherkov in the head and knocking him off of the wall he was standing on.
  • Guru Pitka punches Coach Punch Cherkov in the face, knocking him down.
  • A man tells another man “I’m gunna break your fingers.”
  • Darren’s mother punches him in the face.
  • Guru Pitka and Darren become involved in a bar room brawl. Two young girls beat Guru Pitka, people are punched in the face, a man is slammed down onto a table, chairs are smashed over heads, and three men are thrown through a glass window with one man pulling a shard of window glass from his bloodied head wound. We see a side-on image of Guru Pitka pulling a pool cue from his rectum.
  • Coach Punch Cherkov punches Guru Pitka in the groin causing Pitka to grab his groin and fall to the ground in pain. Coach Cherkov then tells Guru Pitka to “Stay down bitch.”
  • Coach Cherkov fakes a heart attack and is defibrillated by medics, the charge from the defibrillation hurls Coach Cherkov through the air and across the ice rink and into a wall. When Coach Cherkov gets up, his clothes are smouldering and his jacket sleeve is on fire.        

Other material that may offend
Parents may also be concerned about other scenes in the film, including:

  • A sports announcer makes an apology on air to actress Judy Dench for beating her up and we see supposed images of the actress in a hospital bed with her face covered in bandages.
  • Guru Pitka flosses his teeth with rope-like floss with the floss pulled back and forth through Pitka’s nose and rectum (Pitka is fully clothed).
  • When Guru Pitka performs yoga moves we see a side-on image of Guru Pitka with his head inserted in his rectum.
  • Guru Tugginmypudha pours tea though his nostril and then out of his mouth into a teacup, which he serves to Pitka, who gags when he finds a nose hair in his tea.
  • Guru Pitka is attacked off screen by a rooster. We hear lots of screeching animal sounds and see Guru Pitka with torn clothing covered in chicken feathers with the bloodied severed head and neck of a rooster sticking out of his mouth              
  • An elephant defecates into a trashcan held by a man, with the elephant overfilling the trashcan.
  • Guru Tugginmypudha urinates into an urn (we see and hear steam coming from the urn). Trainee gurus dip mops into the urine and then use the mops as weapons to beat each other. Guru Tugginmypudha issues word of wisdom that a bad distraction gives you a mouth full of piss.
  • While in a bar, Guru Pitka uses a mug to makes loud sounds that resemble someone with diarrhoea.
  • The film contains images of Coach Punch Cherkov making loud belching and flatulent sounds.
  • Guru Pitka gets his assistant to check his nostrils for “boogers”, he finds one and Pitka clears his throat and swallows it.
  • Guru Tugginmypudha passes gas and burps loudly and then blows his nose with the contents blowing three feet through the air to land in a rubbish bin. 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

Apart from the above mentioned scenes, there are no additional scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children under five.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Apart from the above mentioned scenes, there are no additional scenes in this movie that are likely to scare or disturb children under eight.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Apart from the scenes mentioned above, there are no additional scenes which are likely to scare or disturb children in this age group.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

The Love Guru contains frequent crude humour and sexual references throughout. Examples include:

  • Reference is made to putting a wiener (small sausage) on a table with the follow up that it looks like a penis only smaller.
  • A female reporter tells her viewers that she is not able to say on air what Jacques Grande nickname “Le Coq” refers to. Jacques appears to remove his underwear and we hear the sound of a loud thud. A tattoo on Jacques’ abdomen points upwards with the words ‘The Man’ and down with the words ‘The Legend’. The reporter looking at Jacques’ groin and gasps out “Holly f…k.” Later in the film, announcers refer to Jacques as having “The biggest wiener in hockey” while a second announcer says that he looks like he’s smuggling a schnauzer in his pants. Later Jacques penis is referred to as a “giant hog”.    
  • We hear reference made to Jacques “banging Darren’s wife.”        
  • A young Pitka tells Guru Tugginmypudha that his parents were missionaries. Guru Tugginmypudha makes the comments about Pitka’s parents being into “Doggy style” before missionary position. 
  • When young Pitka starts to ask Guru Tugginmypudha if he can still masturbate (implied) with his chastity belt on, he is promptly told that he will go cross eyed. We see an image of Guru Tugginmypudha’s cross-eyed face.
  • A man makes reference to popping his “Dick bag.”
  • Reference is made to a Guru named “Hathasmallwiener” having a small penis before he got syphilis.
  • Implied crude sexual references are made including “Liquor in front, Poker in back.”
  • Guru Pitka tells Jane that she has bedroom eyes, a great rack, and buttocks thicker than a Snickers. Jane leans forward to kiss Pitka, but Pitka pulls back, telling Jane that he cannot.
  • Reference is made to graffiti on a toilet wall that says “The joke is in your hands.”
  • The film contains images of self help anagrams with sexual connotations such as C.O.C.K. and B.L.O.W.M.E.
  • Guru Pitka makes gestures that infer oral sex, He opens his mouth wide while putting a corndog into his mouth. Pitka asks if the corndog is a doggy thing.
  • We see Guru Pitka pointing to his groin saying “I think I made a happy wiener.”
  • Guru Pitka pronounces Coach Cherkov name “Jerkoff.” 
  • Jane tells Guru Pitka that she has a school-girl crush on him. 
  • Reference is made to Duffy Duck pushing a lawn mower through a person’s pubic hair.
  • A man orders food saying “I’ll have your nuts in a sling.” We see a tortilla with two large nuts rolled inside. The nuts are smashed by a mallet while a man groans and the food is displayed on a board with a pickle, the arrangement looking like male genitalia.   
  • Guru Pitka makes reference to Jacques being a ‘Mr Right Now’, rather than a ‘Mr Right’.
  • When leaving a nightclub Guru Pitka says “Lets make like a baby and head out.” 
  • When a sports announcer sees two elephants mating he makes the comments, “They’re doing it, I think they’re doing it hard”. We see the announcer with his tie wrapped tightly around his hand with the announcer stating “I’m rigid.” Later the announcer comments “Post ejaculation, the spiny penis retracts.”    

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • Several images of women (serving Guru Pitka) wearing sensual looking uniforms consisting of short shorts and bikini styled tops that reveal cleavage.
  • A picture of a man nude from the waist down with a black triangle lettered “CENSORED” covering the groin area.   
  • The young Pitka wears a chastity belt with the shape of an elephant’s head and trunk covering his groin. When Pitka has an erection we hear a gong sound. Later Pitka raises his shirt and drops his pants to shows Jane his chastity belt and bare legs.
  • Prudence gets out of a pool in a bikini which has become slightly transparent.
  • There are several images of Jacques in his underwear with a large bulge in the front, and he sports a red rooster on his helmet.
  • In one scene, Guru Pitka lays his healing hands on Jessica Simpson causing Jessica to moan and convulse.         
  • Darren and Prudence lie in bed facing each other. They look at each other and say “damn.”
  • Prudence sits on a bed wearing underwear with a shirtless Jacques standing in front of her. Prudence says “Show me” we are given the impression that Jacques is dropping his pants, hear the sound of a thud and hear Prudence gasp “Damn.”
  • The word ‘Guru’ is tattooed on a woman’s cleavage.
  • While describing a hockey play, two commentators draw a crude picture that resembles male genitals.       
  • A man asks a woman “Are you as turned on as I am?”
  • The film contains images of two elephants mating on an ice hockey rink with spectators looking on with their mouths open. An overweight couple look into each others eyes and say “I love you”.  

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • A sports announcer announces on air that he has been cured of his addiction to peyote buttons and apologises for his drug induced attack on a film celebrity.
  • A couple of bar room scenes containing images of tables with glasses of alcohol sitting on them and people holding glasses. A bottle of beer is thrown into the air and we see beer spilling out of the bottle.   
  • One announcer tells another “You’re been doing drugs again”. The announcer in question acts as if he is hallucinating that he is a Borg from “Star Track” and we see him being carried away by security guards. The same announcer says on air that he needs sleep (the implication being that he has been kept awake by drugs) and we see him fall unconscious. 
  • At the end of the film we see Coach Cherkov smoking a hookah. He states, “I’m a midnight toker” and falls back unconscious. 

Coarse language

The Love Guru contains some medium level coarse language and putdowns. Examples include:

  • Bullshit, dick-bag, put that shit onto a T-shirt, arse, you’re an idiot, gay skin, make you crap your self, shit, bitch, freaking idiot, nut sack, scared shitless, arsehole, hippy queer, jerk off, bastard, stupid, balls, and prick.   
  • A female reporter exclaims “Fuck!” with the end of the word trailing off.  

In a nutshell

The Love Guru, targeted at older adolescents and adults is a send-up that relies extensively on one-line crude sexual jokes and innuendo. 
The main messages from this movie are:

  • Do not take short cuts - this will only result in making the situation worse.
  • Do not sacrifice your own values for expediency.
  • Accepting yourself is the key to loving others. 

Parents who allow their children to see this film may also wish to discuss the attitudes towards sex and women, and the use of drugs shown.

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