Ramu Gupta (Jimi Mistry) is warned by his parents not to go Stateside -- naturally -- but you have to laugh when another relative tells him, "You will be famous -- like Ricky Martin!" Ah, such dreams ... and today's pick for free movie of the day. After all the hoopla surrounding 'Slumdog Millionaire,' I couldn't help but dust off this wacky, unheralded 2002 comedy about an Indian dance instructor who's convinced by his friend to seek his fortune as an actor in New York City.
Ramu Gupta (Jimi Mistry) is warned by his parents not to go Stateside -- naturally -- but you have to laugh when another relative tells him, "You will be famous -- like Ricky Martin!" Ah, such dreams ... and today's pick for free movie of the day.
When Ramu lands in the States, however, his buddy Vijay's purported limo job turns out to be nothing but a gig as a taxi driver, and his "penthouse" is a squalid walk-up apartment shared with two other friends (including Ajay Naidu of 'Office Space' fame).
A chance encounter with a porn producer (Michael McKean) leads to a hilarious 'Risky Business' dance audition (complete with "Old Time Rock and Roll" in Hindi), and before you can say "drop trou," Ramu is on the set with a porn starlet (Heather Graham) who promises to give him adult-film acting tips to improve his, um, performance.
Ramu then weasels his way into a lucrative sideline as a sex guru by duping a spoiled rich girl (Marisa Tomei) into believing he is a true mystic. Using her connections, he is soon giving lectures on how to achieve a cosmic state through sex (and what guy hasn't tried that one?), and being told by his oily agent (Rob Morrow) that he will soon surpass even Deepak Chopra.
Of course, we know Ramu's interest in the starlet will turn to love, she will reject her sinful ways, and that Ramu's scam will be uncovered one way or another. Nevertheless, 'The Guru' has plenty of laughs, especially in its wacked-out Bollywood dance sequences and its send-up of trendy upper-class twits. With a few unexpected twists and turns, it's a fun ride -- whether or not you ever wanted to be Ricky Martin.