Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
Funnyman Albert Brooks plays a comedian sent by the U.S. State Department to India and Pakistan to find out exactly what makes Muslims laugh -- all with an eye toward helping everyone get along better in the post-September 11 world. Directed and written by Brooks, this smart, thoughtful film essentially bypasses religion, instead focusing on where people find humor, regardless of culture or beliefs.
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- Albert Brooks
- DVD and streaming
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1Subtitles
English, Spanish (Neutral), FrenchClosed captioned
YesLanguage and sound
English: Dolby Digital 5.1Other features
Color; interactive menus; scene access; deleted scenes.
Looking for Comedy in the Muslim WorldClose
Common Sense Note
Parents need to know that the film's comedy is premised on stereotypes and parodies, showcasing the protagonist's self-absorbed ignorance, and by extension, U.S. self-importance when dealing with "the Muslim World." Some jokes are potentially offensive ("Your mother thinks Muslim is a fabric"; a director says she doesn't want to "go a Jewish way" on her new movie) and some characters are obnoxious. Pakistani and Indian officials misread Brooks' activities, both sides thinking he's a spy for the other, and "resume armed conflict" at film's end (this is represented as a joke, in the background on TV). The film features some strong language ("hell," s-words, one f-word).
- Sexual Content
- Brooks' wife shows brief cleavage; some belly dancers on TV, one job (apparently pre-op) applicant states he wants to be a woman.
- Some threat of war (missiles and guns deployed); Brooks accompanied by gun-toting Palestinian when he crosses border.
- Some use of the s-word and "hell," one f-word.
- Social Behavior
- Main character behaves badly, repeatedly, while imagining he's doing right, by imposing his values on his hosts and making assumptions about what's "funny."
- Brooks stays at the Hyatt in New Delhi; running joke about the outsourcing work to India (references to Kenmore, Dell, Toys R Us, Harry and David); also references to Finding Nemo.
- Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol
- Minor drinking in a bar; Brooks smokes a cigarette during his (unconvincing) ventriloquist's act; Palestinian comedians smoke something to get high when he comes to visit them.
- Age appropriate
- Not an issue
- Depends on your kid and your family
- Not appropriate for kids of the age most likely to want to see it