Monday, February 06, 2006

finding comedy in the muslim world

i saw this albert brooks (ab) film over the weekend, and although i enjoyed the comedy aspect, i was disappointed in the lack of plot direction and what i hoped would be some sort of global message pertaining to the similiarities of people throughout different cultures.

In one scene, ab puts on a comedy show to help determine which jokes muslims will laugh at and the show ends up being a bust. Although, to me, the jokes he told weren't very funny, he also tells the same jokes to a group of pakistani men who can't seem to stop laughing, but the different reactions between the two was never sought, nor was there really any deep look into what makes muslims laugh.

this film certainly had a strong political voice, poking fun at outsourcing, government operations, and war. ab's character was so pretentious, though, that i wanted to reach through the screen and shake him. He was completely rude and self-imposed. perhaps this was a statement about the general lack of unwillingness of americans to see that these people are similar to us. the disappointment came in ab's lack of even trying to get on the same perspective as these people. even his indian assistant, who had to be told "that was a joke", was so enamored with him that she failed to teach him anything about her own culture. i was really hoping she would be able to guide him towards a better understanding of the muslim world.

overall, it wasn't a bad movie, but i was hoping for a little more insight into the muslim world, and an ending that enlightened the audience. perhaps the title should be reworded as: NOT finding comedy in the muslim world.

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