"The Love Guru" didn't bomb because of Justin Timberlake. It didn't bomb because Mike Myers waited too long after the last installment of "Austin Powers" to become one with the cultural zeitgeist. It didn't bomb because Hindu fundamentalists raised a stink over the film's usage of sacred terms.
It bombed, says Deepak Chopra, because Myers got too mired in gross-out jokes.
"'The Love Guru' didn't work well because Mike Myers addresses a teenage audience, and he was trying to mix it up with metaphysics," Chopra told MTV News. "Humor mixed with spirituality can work, if it's done well. But frankly speaking, this was not a good attempt."
Chopra, who counts Myers as a friend, knew well in advance that the comedian was planning to poke him at him with his character of Guru Maurice Pitka. After all, he agreed to lampoon himself with a cameo as Pitka's rival in the guru business. And the spoof went both ways. At the same time Myers was making the movie, Chopra was writing "Why Is God Laughing? The Path to Joy and Spiritual Optimism," using Myers as the basis for his main character, comedian Mickey Fellows. "It's a spoof on Mike Myers," Chopra said. "I told Mike that since he was doing a spoof on me, I was going to do one on him." (Myers returned the favor by writing the foreword for the book, "because he gets the joke.")
"Humor in spirituality is very important," Chopra said. "It helps address paradox, contradictions, and ambiguity, as well as themes of mortality and transcendence." The original script for "Love Guru" had more of that multi-layered humor, Chopra said. "It was actually better than the movie, to be honest," he said. "I think as they went along, they kept revising it."
"I think what he could have done was have been a little less gross about some of the jokes [which were added later]," Chopra said. "And some of the spiritual themes, they could have shown more the lighter side. He was almost too serious in his deprecation. He needed more humor."
So why do you think "The Love Guru" bombed? And what does Mike Myers need to do before making the next "Austin Powers"?