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The American senate, in order to improve it's fast declining global image, asks comedian Albert Brooks to write a 500 page document about what makes Muslims laugh in India and Pakistan. Bidding adieu to his wife and young daughter,and accompanied by two government bureaucrats, Albert opens up an office in New Delhi, hires a pretty Secretary, Maya, and goes around asking people at random as to what makes them laugh. He finds that people generally look at him suspiciously and refuse to answer any questions. He then decides to go public and stage a comedy show, the suggested place for the publicity is old Delhi. Accordingly the four re-locate, book a school auditorium to seat about 400 people, go around the city distributing leaflets, inviting the general public to attend the show. They get a houseful response, however, Albert's comedy act fails to impress. He then decides to try his hand in Pakistan, only to be told that he cannot get a visa for another 14 days. He decides to enter ... Written by
Sony Pictures Classics was originally going to distribute the film in the USA but chose not to, citing controversy over the film's title, which they wanted to change. Warner Independent Pictures then picked up the film for US distribution. See more »
The Indian flag shown in the Indian government office is upside down. The correct order of the flag is saffron at the top and green at the bottom. See more »
I really enjoyed this Albert Brooks film. I especially label it an "Albert Brooks film" because he's so different and his humor so different that if you don't know what you are in for, you can be very disappointed. He is somewhat unique in that his humor is low-key, deadpan-delivery and full of sarcasm.
I love his sarcasm, so the guy makes me laugh. Many others watch a film like this and say, "What's funny? This is not a comedy; it stinks." Since I am familiar with Brooks' style and laugh at his delivery and self-deprecating and insulting humor, I knew what I was in for with this film. However, I knew this could be a "bomb," too, like a few other of his films....but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise: it was far better than I anticipated.
Brooks plays himself in the film and pokes fun not only at himself and his non-famous career but also at government bureaucracy. In this film he is an over-the-hill unemployed comedian who is asked to help our country, the United States, with Muslim relations by finding out what makes Muslims laugh. By making people laugh more, perhaps it would ease tensions.
Brooks is told he will receive the Medal Of Freedom for his efforts, which include a 500-page report on his findings! He isn't thrilled about that last part, but he does have a good attitude about his scheduled month-long trip to India and Pakistan.
Without giving anything away, I thought that what happened on this trip was very funny. Brooks - and the reaction of people around him - just cracked me up. It also was a pleasure to enjoy the supporting cast, led by a very likable, attractive Indian actress by the name of Sheetal Sheth.
Overall, highly recommended but know who Brooks is and what he's about, or you'll be disappointed.
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