Dance instructor Ramu Gupta leaves India to seek fame and
fortune in the USA. But with no cash to fall back on, he finds
himself working in porn movies. Then a bizarre mix-up has
Ramu being mistaken for a spiritual leader, a "Guru of Sex".
In fact, his words of wisdom are inspired by a porn actress
It's a bit of a shame that the actor who plays the eponymous
guru, the amiable Jimi Mistry (of East is East fame),
is billed third among the leading cast. But I suppose the
reason for this is because Mistry is not as big a star in
Hollywood as Heather Graham (From Hell, The Spy Who Shagged
Me) or Marisa Tomei (My Cousin Vinny).
this is not to suggest that Graham and Tomei don't deserve
star billing, because they do. Both actresses work hard to
make their potentially unsympathetic characters appealing
to the viewer. Graham, who previously portrayed a porn star
in Boogie Nights, manages to elicit empathy for Sharonna,
even though the character lies to her fiancé - and to herself
- about her chosen line of work. She does this by establishing
Sharonna as a supremely confident individual, and then proceeds
to chip away at that veneer to reveal her true self to Ramu.
Tomei is also endearing, and amusing, as Lexi, a mystically
fixated society girl.
Guru is a curious beast, spoofing Hollywood movies, Bollywood
movies and porn movies all in one fell swoop - not a combination
that you find very often. It isn't always as funny as I expected
it to be, but there are some truly memorable song and dance
numbers inspired by Grease and by Bollywood musicals,
which are brilliantly staged by director Daisy von Scherler
Mayer. Perhaps the most comical aspects of all are the numerous
porn titles that are mentioned in passing during the course
of the film. Listen out for such name checks as Glad He
Ate Her (which is based, of course, on Gladiator)
and The Prime of Miss Jean's Booty!
is far from being the greatest romantic comedy ever made,
but it is certainly one of the most imaginative. And the ending
left me feeling genuinely uplifted, which takes some doing
when you're such a miserable git as I am.
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