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Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

 
By PETER KEOUGH  |  January 19, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars
LOOKING FOR COMEDY IN THE MUSLIM WORLD The title is the funniest part of the movie.Albert Brooks is always looking for something elusive in places that are amorphous or unattainable, places like America in Lost in America, Life in Real Life, and the Afterlife in Defending Your Life. When he gets more specific, his satire gets less precise. Such is the case with his latest, which boasts the funniest title of the year. It’s also the funniest part of the movie. Brooks, as usual, plays himself, a comic actor and filmmaker desperate for employment who takes up the State Department’s offer to find out what makes Muslims laugh. Rather than head for Baghdad or Beirut, Brooks settles on India, which though it’s home to quite a few Muslims seems a little off topic. There he has trouble finding comedy not only in the Muslim world but in his movie, and viewers might share the bewilderment of his Indian assistant (Sheetal Sheth) when she asks, “Is that a joke?” Brooks deserves credit for taking on such a taboo topic, but the results don’t bode well for political comedy.
Related: Open sesame, Under Construction, Politics as usual?, More more >
  Topics: Reviews , U.S. Department of State, Islam, Albert Brooks,  More more >
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