January 31, 2003
The Guru has already had run dates throughout Europe, where it has been the subject of a rather chilly reception from critics. Nonetheless, Universal Pictures is set to release the film stateside with a marketing campaign that may be a mess, but it's a fun mess, with music from Grease featuring heavily in the trailer.
The guru of the title is played by Jimi Mistry, who stars as a dance teacher named Ramu who emigrates from India to New York with hopes of becoming the movie industry's next John Travolta. He auditions for a starring role in a film and actually gets it, but discovers (to his great dismay) that the movie in question is an adult picture. He is unable to go through with the, er, performance, but receives some wonderful advice from the film's star, Sharonna (Heather Graham, back in the Rollergirl-type role that helped her to break out). Ramu winds up using that knowledge when he is used as a last-minute replacement for a guru who is scheduled to perform at a posh party, freeing the minds of the guests and capturing the attention of spoiled new-age socialite Lexi (Marisa Tomei). He's an instant hit and soon sets out on a whirlwind tour of the talk show circuit, well on his way to obtaining the fame and fortune he so desperately desires. Naturally, he'll have some tough decisions to make and falls in love somewhere along the way.
The Guru is far from a typical comedy, which is certainly a huge strike against it. The quirky ads may attract some attention, but this film appears likely to have a very short life at the box office, though it does seem to be the sort of thing that finds a cult audience on video. (Kim Hollis/BOP)
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