January 20, 2006, - 3:30 pm

Weekend Box Office: No “Comedy in the Muslim World”; “Match Point” Rehash

By Debbie Schlussel
* If you’re “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World,” keep looking.
You won’t find much of it in the Albert Brooks movie of the same name. It could have been a lot funnier, but wasn’t. I thought I’d love this movie, but didn’t–even though it makes a lot of great points, as in, that the Muslim World is humorless. This movie certainly reflected that.
It’s about a comedian, Albert Brooks playing himself, who’s recruited by the government to try to figure out what makes the Muslim world laugh–an attempt to win them over (as if that’s possible; it ain’t, but for a brute-strength show of who’s boss). He is sent to India and Pakistan with two useless State Department flunkies. (India is home to 100 million Muslims, though the movie claims 150 million–wrong.)

muslimcomedy.jpg

Yes, there are a few good jokes. The Polish eye-chart one is great (I’m 100% of Polish-Jewish extraction, so, please, no Polish hate-mail).
Then there’s the great joke showing the Indian call-center answering calls for American insurance companies, department stores . . . even, “Hello, the White House, how may I help you?” Hilarious. But most of the movie isn’t hilarious. Not even close.
But for the anti-Semitic Indian Muslim asking for a job from the Jewish Brooks, the Al-Jazeera execs who want to hire him for a new reality show about a Jew living in an all-Muslim apartment building (“That Darn Jew”), and stoned Pakistanis who laugh at a comedy act that’s not funny, the movie is a bore.
As for the points the movie makes–besides that fact that the Muslim world is humorless–the film shows how dumb these silly State Dept. programs pandering to the Muslim world, truly are. They don’t work. In the case of this movie, Brooks’ search for humor brought Pakistan and India to the brink of war, and the program was discontinued.
A lesson for our country: Don’t use these stupid programs to try to pander to those who hate us. They laugh at this (that’s their “comedy”). The best thing they understand is a big, strong military kick in the butt, including guns, missiles, and bombs, if necessary. It works a whole lot better than “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” That doesn’t exist there.
* Also opening in a lot of theaters around the country (out already for weeks in limited release) is “Match Point,” which I reviewed here. Like I said, I don’t understand all the hype about it, since this Woody Allen is really a remake of Woody Allen’s “Crime and Misdemeanors“. Different continent, accents, professions. Same plot and ending.

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12 Responses

Almost all the characters in the movie are either Hindus or Sikhs. I am not sure why he was looking for ‘muslim’ comedy in India.
NOT TRUE. MANY OF THEM ARE VERY OBVIOUSLY MUSLIM. HINDU AND SIKH WOMEN DO NOT WEAR HIJABS, AS DO MANY OF THE WOMEN IN THIS MOVIE. DITTO FOR THE AL-JAZEERA AND PAKI CHARACTERS. DOESN’T SOUND LIKE YOU ACTUALLY SAW THE MOVIE.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

lawman on January 20, 2006 at 5:30 pm

I’m just surprised she actually appears to have watched a movie she bad-mouths.
I WATCH EACH AND EVERY MOVIE I’VE REVIEWED, FROM BEGINNING TO END. IF YOU BOTHERED TO READ MY SITE INSTEAD OF SPEWING IDIOCY, YOU’D KNOW THAT.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL

jjames on January 20, 2006 at 6:01 pm

Well if everyone in the movie is a Hindu or Sikh from India, no wonder they don’t have much of a sense of humor, they’re too busy being persecuted and trying to defend their country. The movie should have been “Looking for Humor in the Hindu World.” He could stand up there and say “These people will have beef with anyone, even Hindus!”

KnightoftheImpaler on January 20, 2006 at 6:34 pm

IF the State Department REALLY wanted to nonviolently usurp the Mulsim world…they’d airlift some strippers from the Stern show into the region.

EminemsRevenge on January 20, 2006 at 9:09 pm

How come the State Department did not send the unctious and clueless but well meaning Karen Hughes to try to explain our sense of humor to the Muslim world? The nature of her mission could be called “Ten Centuries From Normal.”

Ripper on January 21, 2006 at 2:15 pm

“two useless state department flunkies”…are there any other kind?
paul

paul on January 21, 2006 at 5:41 pm

Danny; You know what makes muslims laugh +have a great day?.9’11 sure did or was the film footage fake? handing out candy hugging each other, rejoicing as the towers started to fall.And on Debbie’s site now we havePunks like Lawman,jjames and Eminemsrev,Kingofalljaps together same train of mind, Punks on a mission.(GLUPCY)

danny on January 21, 2006 at 6:42 pm

“I WATCH EACH AND EVERY MOVIE I’VE REVIEWED, FROM BEGINNING TO END. IF YOU BOTHERED TO READ MY SITE INSTEAD OF SPEWING IDIOCY, YOU’D KNOW THAT.”
Even The Dukes of Hazzard? Why? I mean seriously, why?

brickabrat on January 22, 2006 at 3:35 am

DOESN’T SOUND LIKE YOU ACTUALLY SAW THE MOVIE.
You are right. I did not see the movie.
I do plan on seeing it though.
I was commenting based on the comments of people who have seen the movie.

lawman on January 22, 2006 at 1:31 pm

At least get your facts right: according to the CIA factbook the movie gets it correct, not you: there are nearly 150 million Muslims, not 100 million. (144755428 to be exact.)
OH, YES, THE “ALWAYS TRUTHFUL” CIA. DID VALERIE PLAME TELL YOU THAT? “AMBASSADOR”/PROFESSIONAL LIAR JOE WILSON? HE CHANGED HIS REPORT TO REFLECT THE CIA’S FALSE VIEW. AND I’M SURE THE AGENCY’S FACT BOOK IS EQUALLY RELIABLE. I RECOMMEND YOU READ ANYTHING BY LAURIE MYLROIE ON THE “TRUSTWORTHY”/ALWAYS “CORRECT” CIA.
DEBBIE SCHLUSSEL.

boredidentity on January 22, 2006 at 8:11 pm

Comedy in the muslim world? Never. Ever wonder why Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddists and other various religions can get along peacefully yet muslims have violent conflicts with each? Notice a pattern here? Funny muslims and peaceful muslims are both oxymorons. It’s hard to find humor in a religion whose founder and “prophet” cut off the heads of non-believers. You won’t find that in that CIA factbook but you can find it in the Quran. Thanks to Debbie’s review I won’t waste my time.

1oracle on January 22, 2006 at 9:39 pm

Debbie,
Where did you get your 100 Million Indian Muslims stat from?
It seems unusually low. On a quick google check, I dont see any reference to a 100 million figure.
I am guessing you got these numbers from the 1991 Census where one state (J&K) was not included as the terrorism problem made it impossible for the census officials to conduct a survey.
The 2001 Census puts the number at much higher than 100 million.
In 3rd world countries, these numbers are not very accurate though. Current figures put the population number of Indian Muslims between 125 to 145 million.

lawman on January 23, 2006 at 9:12 am

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