Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World


Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

Critics Consensus

Although the premise seems ripe for laughs, Albert Brooks isn't ruthless or clever enough to pull it off.



Total Count: 108


Audience Score

User Ratings: 14,533
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Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World Photos

Movie Info

Comic and filmmaker Albert Brooks serves his country while struggling to get some laughs in this offbeat satiric comedy. Brooks plays himself, a comedic filmmaker whose most recent success was providing the voice of a fish for an animated feature and who has just been passed by as director for a remake of Harvey. As Brooks wonders what's going to happen next with his career, his wife (Amy Ryan), and his daughter, he's approached by government representatives who want him for a special assignment. The State Department, eager to better understand the cultural gap between the United States and the Middle East, have been directed by the president to make a study of what makes Muslims laugh. Brooks is asked to fly to India and Pakistan and bring back a 500-page report on Muslim humor; told the Medal of Freedom may be his if he comes through, Brooks accepts. With a pair of State Department officials in tow, Stuart (John Carroll Lynch) and Mark (Jon Tenney), and some help from a local assistant, Maya (Sheetal Sheth), Brooks sets out to find the funny bone of India's and Pakistan's Muslim communities, though it doesn't take long to find out what they don't find funny -- his standup act. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World was originally set for release in the United States by Sony Pictures Classics, but when they became nervous over the film's title, they dropped the project and it was picked up for distribution by Warner Independent Pictures.

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Jon Tenney
as Mark Brody
Amy Ryan
as Emily Brooks
Kavi Raz
as Translator
Victoria Burrows
as Casting Director
B.J. Ward
as Barbara Nader
Lynda Berg
as Margaret Allenton
Steve Kramer
as Sam Loman
Paul Eric Jerome
as Studio Executive
Tony Montero
as Don Budge
Conrad Bachmann
as Ben Wallerstein
Vipin Kumar
as Customs Agent
Avinash Kaur
as Job Applicant
Juliet Touzene
as Job Applicant
Sunny Raina
as Job Applicant
Rima Laham
as Job Applicant
Sanjeev Johrai
as Hotel Guest
Kavita Ashok
as Waitress
Sandhya Bhatia
as Street Interview
Mitlesh Prasad
as Street Interview
Manoj Buxi
as Street Interview
Surinder Arora
as Man in Temple
Gabbar Singh
as Guide at Mosque
Raul Laskarov
as Man in Bar
Duncan Bravo
as Stage Manager
Kevin Mukherji
as Spotlight Man
Barbara Ali
as School Official
Sankalp Rastogi
as Audience Member
Dhiru Shah
as Indian Official
Ajay Mehta
as Indian Official
Radha Zaidi
as Indian Official
Anand Vadehra
as Pakistani Comedian
Lalit P. Jobanputra
as Pakistani Comedian
Gagan Deep Singh
as Pakistani Comedian
P.D. Mani
as Pakistani Comedian
Mike Akrawi
as Pakistani Comedian
Marco Kahn
as Pakistani Comedian
Ben Anand
as Pakistani Official
Raghu Bhagat
as Pakistani Official
Subash Kundanmal
as Pakistani Official
Yasmine Hannaney
as Receptionist
Sameh Sheik
as Mukhtar Al-Mujib
Shaheen Sheik
as News Anchor
Linden Soles
as News Anchor
Reena Dutt
as Bar Patron
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News & Interviews for Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

Critic Reviews for Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

All Critics (108) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (63)

  • Looking for Comedy succeeds smashingly both as a comedy and as a savvy deconstruction of comedy.

    Nov 27, 2006 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

    Nathan Rabin

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • The movie has a perversely unifying effect: Muslims, Christians and Jews may not be able to agree on exactly who the heck Jesus is, but they're fully capable of bonding in boredom.

    Oct 7, 2006
  • I think this thing is just flat and dead.

    Feb 11, 2006
  • I like all of Brooks's features, which are brilliantly conceptualized and deftly executed. This one's no exception, and some of the laughs are genuinely cathartic.

    Feb 11, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A comedian should never attempt to be a diplomat.

    Feb 11, 2006 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • For all its silliness, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World is also a work of integrity.

    Jan 20, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

  • Jul 30, 2008
    An interesting movie. Quite good.
    Leo L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 13, 2007
    This might have been funnier had I smoked hashish like the Pakistani's did.
    Ida K Super Reviewer
  • May 11, 2007
    one of the most interesting flem (mock) documentries ever. It reminds me of a badly written script that was hanging on every limb to be funny. They were smart and used a well known actor/comedian (albert brooks) make the film a little bit better. I dont really know if the whole thing was sarcas of very bad judgement of jokes.
    Moviestar M Super Reviewer
  • May 06, 2007
    Albert Brooks is one of those actor-writer-directors who definitely hits and misses. Like <i>Lost in America,</i> this movie is mostly a hit. I laughed very hard for periods of time in this pseudo-documentary about Brooks' US government sponsored search to determine, in a 500-page report : ), what constitutes "funny" in India and Pakistan. I loved sequences like the job interview and, especially, Brooks' stand-up performance in India where he redefines impromptu comedy -- and revives one of his very early real-life ventriloquist routines. <p> More than anything in this, I was overjoyed to discover the acting and comedic talents of American-born Sheetal Sheth. She is definitely worth the watch, even if you've been disappointed by some of Brooks' work in years gone by.
    Lanning : Super Reviewer

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