Allegedly Problematic: Mike Myers' 2008 film The Love Guru shows us that white dudes really can do anything
If I were to categorise The Love Guru, I think it would come under ‘white-dude-makes-movie-about-India/Indian-things- without-knowing-anything-about-these-things’. This is an extremely popular genre among white dudes. | Kuzhali Manickavel writes
Allegedly Problematic' is a monthly column by Kuzhali Manickavel, which takes a cheeky look at literary/cultural offerings from the past that would now be considered, well, problematic — and asks, 'But are they really?'.
Read more from the series here.
What is up fam! My dudes, it seems like it was only yesterday that we were whining about fascism and other child-like summer whims. This month, we are writing to you from the iron grip of a pandemic lockdown! Lockdown is hard y’all. Like, I’m not even kidding you guys it’s super, super hard. People with a roof over their heads, internet connections, electricity, running water, food and drink have been forced to cook and clean for themselves! They are getting bored! What the heck is even happening! In these trying times, many people have taken to the internet to talk about their feelings, which is so great. I myself am going to use my internet powers to talk about a movie called The Love Guru.
It now behooves us to ask the question, is this really the best time to whine about The Love Guru? When the plight of the disadvantaged has become truly dire and people are dying more than they usually do, should we really be talking about how some old, barf-worthy Hollywood movie is problematic? Probably not. But someone has to find all these problematic things and go 'oh my God you guys look how problematic this problematic thing is!' Otherwise how will the world know! So let us bravely go forth and see what we are going to get offended by this month!
We now turn our limited attention spans to The Love Guru. Like Basmati Blues, The Love Guru is apparently a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad movie (I haven’t seen it yet. Which means I have to watch it now. Which makes me very sad.) It was written by Mike Myers, who you may also know as Austin Powers and Shrek. If I were to categorise this movie, I think it would come under ‘white-dude-makes-movie-about-India/Indian-things- without-knowing-anything-about-these-things’. This is an extremely popular genre among white dudes. Not going to lie, if I was a white dude, I would definitely make movies like this.
I will now present some unfounded beliefs I have about this movie. I unfoundedly believe that this movie will have gags involving allegedly Indian names in conjunction with either toilets or genitalia. I unfoundedly believe that there will be at least one Bollywood song which will be nothing like Bollywood at all. Lastly, I unfoundedly believe that in this movie, spiritualism will somehow be connected to sex because Kama Sutra.
And now, I present some things which I know for a fact. I know that The Love Guru is an awful name for a movie though it is not as bad as Basmati Blues. I know that it normally would have been stretch to make a movie about professional ice hockey players, romantic intrigue AND a guru from India. But The Love Guru does just that! Which goes to show that white dudes really CAN do anything! Finally, I know for a fact that a number of news outlets reported that Hindus were upset by this movie, which makes me think of them all watching it while sobbing uncontrollably. Will I also sob uncontrollably while watching this? I DON’T KNOW FAM!!!!
Could this movie have been made with a rabbi instead? Or a Scientologist? From like Idaho maybe? Something tells me this wouldn’t have been possible, because a great deal of The Love Guru’s allure seems to lie in the whole India, Hindoo-ey thing it has going on. Sounds like this is going to be buckets and buckets of fun, no? Can’t hardly wait for our next delectable instalment where we will watch The Love Guru and then complain about it! Peep ya later fam!
Kuzhali Manickavel is the author of the short story collections 'Insects Are Just like You and Me except Some of Them Have Wings' and 'Things We Found During the Autopsy', both available from Blaft Publications
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