5.4/10
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Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)

PG-13 | | Comedy | 20 January 2006 (USA)
Trailer
0:32 | Trailer
To improve its relations with Muslim countries, the United States government sends comedian Albert Brooks to south Asia to write a report on what makes followers of Islam laugh.

Director:

Albert Brooks

Writer:

Albert Brooks

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Penny Marshall ... Self
Victoria Burrows ... Casting Director
Paul Jerome Paul Jerome ... Studio Executive (as Paul Eric Jerome)
Albert Brooks ... Albert Brooks
Emma Lockhart ... Laura
Amy Ryan ... Emily Brooks
Fred Thompson ... Fred Dalton Thompson (as Fred Dalton Thompson)
B.J. Ward ... Barbara Nader
Tony Montero ... Don Budge
Lynda Berg Lynda Berg ... Margaret Allenton
Steve Kramer ... Sam Loman
Conrad Bachmann ... Ben Wallerstein
John Carroll Lynch ... Stewart
Jon Tenney ... Mark
Avinash Kaur Avinash Kaur ... Job Applicant
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Storyline

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 rAjOo (gunwanti@hotmail.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug content and brief strong language | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Indian General is wearing Pakistani uniform. See more »

Quotes

Fred Dalton Thompson: The President, as you know, has a pretty darn good sense of humor.
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Connections

References The Exorcist (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Put on a Happy Face
Written by Charles Strouse and Lee Adams
Performed by Dick Van Dyke
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with SONY BMG Music Entertainment
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User Reviews

 
"Was that a joke?" Look elsewhere for comedy.
6 August 2006 | by NoWireHangersSee all my reviews

Albert Brooks is sent by the US government to India on a mission to find out what makes muslims laugh. Why India? Yes there's a lot of muslims there but most of the people Brooks meet seems to be Hindus. No matter what they are they don't think he's funny. And he isn't. Not in this movie.

Initially, most of the jokes are based on how badly planned his trip was. He gets to fly business class instead of first class. Nobody comes to pick him up at the airport so he has to take a cab. His office is small and has no computer, etc. Funny? After that, there is a slightly amusing scene where he has a conversation with his secretary, Maya, and they don't know when the other is joking or not. "Was that a joke?". According to his plans, he was supposed to go to Pakistan, but he doesn't get a visa, so he has to cross the border illegally in order to spend a couple of hours there with some would be comedians. This makes Indian and Pakistani intelligence agents suspicious, and there's almost a political conflict. Brooks realises he has failed and goes is sent back to the US. The End. His wife, unaware of his failure, thinks he's a big hero. The political subplot about the conflict Brooks almost caused, is tied up by means of on-screen text before the closing credits. The main plot also goes nowhere. I'm not sure what Brooks tried to do with this movie. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, and it doesn't work as a dark comedy nor as a satire. Unfortunately, with this movie, real-life Brooks ends up like on-screen Brooks: trying, but failing, to be funny. "Is that the joke?". I'll never know.

So what we have here is a movie with no real laughs and a premise that could be funny, but goes nowhere. Too bad, really, because I expected this movie to be much better. Not recommended to waste money on.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

Arabic | Hindi | English

Release Date:

20 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Albert Brooks Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$10,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$429,223, 22 January 2006

Gross USA:

$888,975

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$915,649
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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