Schadenfreude: The Love Guru and Katy Perry
Posted by Andrew Unterberger on June 20, 2008
Revenge is a dish best ordered over the internet
A few days ago, I issued Pop Culture an ultimatum of sorts–It was me or The Love Guru, time to decide. So far, I appear to be fairly safe in my ground, as The Love Guru has but a 22 on composite review website MetaCritic. “Adam Sandler can breathe a sigh of relief,” says TV Guide. “Thanks to this crude, bafflingly unfunny comedy from fellow SNL alum Mike Myers, Sandler can rest assured that his “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan” won’t go down as the worst movie of 2008.” The New York Post is a little more clever about it, quipping “The Love Guru is even funnier than ‘Wayne’s World’ or ‘Austin Powers.’ Not.” And providing the drama is The New York Times, who says “The Love Guru is downright antifunny, an experience that makes you wonder if you will ever laugh again. ” It doesn’t necessarily guarantee poor box office, but at least I dunno if there’s been any movies in the much-dreaded below-25 regions of Metacritic scoring that have been outright hits.
More impressive, however, is how the critics have come to look askance on Ms. Katy Perry. I was nigh on positive that Perry, she of “I Kissed a Girl” fame (#2 song in the country, don’t you know) would court general acclaim from clueless types as the latest in the Lily Allen-Amy Winehouse lineage of quirky, world-weary, buzzworthy young female types, embracing her refreshing frankness and clever wordplay. Apparently not, as the album has a cumulative 51 so far on Metacritic (which by album standards might even be worse than The Love Guru’s 22–the only albums currently with lower scores are Ashanti’s The Declaration, Def Leppard’s Songs from the Sparkle Lounge and Foxy Brown’s Brooklyn Don Diva, and 20 points if you’ve even heard of one of those before). Even the generally level-headed and objective All Music Guide has taken Katherine to task, saying of her One of the Boys that “The problem is not with Katy’s gender-bending, it’s that her heart isn’t in it; she’s just using it to get her places, so she sinks to crass, craven depths that turn One of the Boys into a grotesque emblem of all the wretched excesses of this decade.” You’ll recall I said things not all that dissimilar but a week or so ago, but it’s refreshing to see others fail to fall for her attention-courting act as well.
Once again, it’s not to say that from the album’s critical reaction is a kiss of death for its commercial fortunes, and I’m sure Perry’s returns will be brisk at first, as will The Love Guru‘s. But point is, it’s important that our culture’s first line of defense not go gently against these juggernauts of evil, and here’s hoping that the rest of the country follows suit shortly enough. Hey, Obama won the primary and “American Boy” finally made the top 40, so things are looking bright all over for our country. A #3 or lower debut for The Love Guru and a sub-gold status for Katy Perry don’t seem all that unreasonable to ask for.