The Guru delves into subject matter that's long overdue for parody, but no less ripe for the delay: the trendy celebrity obsession with Eastern religion, seen in such stars as Madonna and Richard Gere. That it does this effectively is a pleasant surprise. But what makes Daisy von Scherler Mayer's film all the more likeable is its uncommon warmth, which qualifies it as a romantic comedy or wish-fulfillment fantasy as much as a satire. Setting the tone is the exquisite Jimi Mistry as Ramu Gupta, who leaves India to pursue Hollywood pipe dreams, but encounters a new variation on stock ethnic casting while serving as an emergency fill-in for a drunken swami. That he hoodwinks the stuffy Manhattanites at the party is a detail one just has to accept, but Mistry's earnest charisma makes this -- and his meteoric rise to fame -- that much easier to swallow. Himself a newcomer to Hollywood, and therefore a kindred spirit to his character, Mistry has a true dynamism that plays well alongside his leading ladies. Heather Graham in particular does much stronger work than her track record, while Marisa Tomei embraces the trickier task of humanizing her loopy socialite, who would have been a mere fool in lesser hands. These three are hopeless optimists, but The Guru chooses to love their foibles rather than ridicule them, a determining factor in the kind of movie it wants to be. This sentimental core is clear during the film's high point: a vibrant song and dance number that's a homage to both the traditional Bollywood cinema of Ramu's native land and to Grease, the American film that taught the young Ramu to dream.