The Guru


The Guru

Critics Consensus

A sweetly silly but wafer-thin romantic comedy.



Total Count: 87


Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,119
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The Guru Photos

Movie Info

A visitor from the mysterious East arrives in New York -- not to offer the wisdom of the ages, but to make it big as a dancer in this "fish-out-of-water" comedy. Ramu Chandra Gupta (Jimi Mistry) grew up in India on a steady diet of movie musicals, particularly local Bollywood spectaculars and vintage American song-and-dance films. Ramu grew up with the dream of one day making it big as a dancer, and in time he found a job as a dance instructor. However, Raimu believes his destiny lies in the United States, and he leaves India behind to relocate to New York City. Unfortunately, Ramu's bright new future isn't exactly awaiting him, and he's soon sharing an overstuffed apartment with distant relatives in Queens while working in an Indian restaurant. An audition for a film director named Dwain (Michael McKean) turns out to be a tryout for a porno movie -- a role Ramu does not get when he fails to rise to the occasion. However, he does make the acquaintance of one of Dwain's "starlets," Sharona (Heather Graham), with whom he soon finds himself infatuated. Ramu gets a job entertaining guests at a party catered by his relatives when the performer originally booked is incapacitated. While Ramu's Bollywood-style dancing goes over well enough, he makes a deeper impression on Lexi (Marisa Tomei), an enthusiastic but half-bright student of Eastern philosophy who regards Ramu a font of wisdom as well as a hot date. Ramu quickly becomes the toast of New York's upper crust, and scores an agent, Josh (Rob Morrow), but how long will it be before folks realize Ramu is rather low on the enlightenment scale? And can he find happiness with Sharona while Lexi is still in the picture? The Guru also features Christine Baranski and Malachy McCourt.


Jimi Mistry
as Ramu Gupta
Ajay Naidu
as Sanjay
Anita Gillette
as Mrs. McGee
Dwight Ewell
as Peaches
Parul Shah
as Indian Princess in Movie
Bina Sharif
as Older Woman in Dance Class
Sakina Jaffrey
as Young Woman in Dance Class
Susham Bedi
as Lady in Glasses in Dance Class
Sinia Jane
as Mrs. Gupta
Anoop Puri
as Mr. Gupta
Jed Sexton
as Rude Lunch Patron No. 1
Tommy Crudup
as Rude Lunch Patron No. 2
Damian Young
as Hank, the Camera Man
Philip Levy
as Sound Man
Sarah Stanley
as Ramrod Production Assistant
Krista Bogetich
as Party Planner
Sanjeev Bhaskar
as Rasphal, the Cook
Ajay Mehta
as Swami Bu
Rizwan Manji
as Party Waiter
Georgia Creighton
as Uptight Woman
Dominic Fumusa
as Waldo Hernandez
Rebecca Thomas
as Subway Passenger
Steven Randazzo
as Tony, the Baker
Edythe Bronstein
as Turned On Woman
Roger Kachel
as Turned On Man
Don Fessman
as Chatty Nude Guy
Margaret Hall
as Mrs. Taylor
Bill Massof
as Professor Wank
Jason Harris
as Josh's Assistant
Pat McNamara
as Mr. McGee
Wayne Gurman
as Guy in Bar
John Holyoke
as Sally Jessy Audience Member
Becca Ayers
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Robert Rod Barry
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Nicole Barth
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Rob Besserer
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Gwendolyn Bucci
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Dimitri Christy
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Barry Ford
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
John-Charles Kelly
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Richard Lear
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Paul Liberti
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Susan Malick
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Joseph P. McDonnell
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Frank Moran
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Scott Rink
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Jeanna Schweppe
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Valda Setterfield
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Alec Timerman
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Judith Van Buren
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Jennifer Way Rawe
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Darlene Wilson
as Lexi's Birthday Party Dancer
Cara Butler
as Wedding Dancer
Darrah Carr
as Wedding Dancer
Kim Cea
as Wedding Dancer
Colleen Hawks
as Wedding Dancer
Christopher LaMontagne
as Wedding Dancer
Henry Menendez
as Wedding Dancer
David O'Hanlon
as Wedding Dancer
Frank Root
as Wedding Dancer
Michelle West
as Wedding Dancer
John Keane
as Wedding Bagpiper
Nicki Cochrane
as Bombay Dance Class Dancer
Jasmine Persad
as Bombay Dance Class Dancer
View All

Critic Reviews for The Guru

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (28)

  • Devoid of life, intelligence, humor, and anything else that could entertain even the most undemanding viewer, this film is a perfect example of something that should have been shipped to landfills, not multiplexes.

    Feb 16, 2003 | Rating: 1/4
  • A precipitous comedic falloff in the third quarter earns the film a qualified recommendation at best.

    Feb 14, 2003
  • With a reach that frequently falls short, higher wit and sexual sophistication crumble into plain old silliness.

    Feb 14, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4

    Ted Fry

    Seattle Times
    Top Critic
  • A trifle, a silly one at that, but it's a charming trifle that's hard to resist.

    Feb 14, 2003 | Rating: B
  • The movie offers up too many airy spiritual lessons in the hope of crossing from farce to sentiment.

    Feb 14, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • A joyous genre-blender guaranteed to crank up your karma.

    Feb 14, 2003

Audience Reviews for The Guru

  • Jul 30, 2017
    This one failed the rewatch test. I remember thinking it was quite good when it was first out many, many years ago. Geez. What was I thinking!
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2011
    The film lacks any big laughs and you'll probably forget you saw it an hour later. It has its moments and its sweet but is let down because of its water thin plot and lack of anything we haven't seen before.
    Directors C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 15, 2009
    Starts well and is really funny with a self-effacing look at Indians in the US, and by the half-way mark I was loving it, then it gives up and focusses on a love story and there's a desperate rush to stop a wedding (which is nearly as bad as running to the airport), then they get together and drive off into the clouds after a song and dance. Stop it at the halfway point and it'll deserve another star.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2009
    A cute film. It had a couple of funny moments.
    Marion R Super Reviewer

The Guru Quotes

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