‘Looking for Comedy’ trailer

Abhi posted earlier about a new Albert Brooks comedy, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World. The trailer is now out (thanks, Kiran). Sheetal Sheth apparently gets jiggy with the actor, who was born during Partition and was last unseen as the voice of the paterfish in Finding Nemo. From the trailer, the movie seems to have a reasonably light touch for the genre.

Congrats, Sheetal — it’s her biggest film yet. Her Indian accent isn’t too bad either, considering the competition. Some second-gen actors make such a hash of it, they’re crying out for an accent coach. (Imagine that dinnertime conversation: ‘You did vat? You paid someone so you could talk like me?’)

Watch the trailer. The movie comes out on January 20th.



38 thoughts on “‘Looking for Comedy’ trailer

  1. Is Sheetal Sheth supposed to be the love interest? I know age ain’t nothin but a number, but she’s half his age! (The call center joke was kind of cute, though.)

    I like the new rating system, but what’s the scale?

  2. The movie looks light-hearted, which is welcome. And it will hopefully give a higher profile to SA actors.

    While it’s just a movie, there is a flaw with the setup. America may be disliked by most of the Muslim world, but it is specifically the Arab Muslim world that feels the need to express its displeasure through violence. By not focusing on dysfunctional Arab culture, Brooks is making the mistake of thinking all Muslims are alike.

    But perhaps concentrating such attention on the Arab world would be even more risky, so it is safer to set the movie in India, a friendly nation. And a subplot of a young Indian Hindu woman possibly having a crush on a middle-aged Jewish guy is less likely to arouse furor had the female lead been Muslim.

    India does not matter that much in the Muslim imagination, aside from jihadis who wish to re-establish the Mughal empire. So I’m guessing if the movie gets some worldwide distribution, Arab audiences will simply dismiss it as, “Hmmph.. the movie is set in India. Muslims are minority there, so it does not apply to us. Those Americans, thinking we are alike.”

    These serious thoughts aside, when I go see it, I’ll just be looking for laughs.

  3. By not focusing on dysfunctional Arab culture, Brooks is making the mistake of thinking all Muslims are alike.

    Absolutely. This is essentially perpetuated by the liberals, the idea that America is wrong and the Muslims need to be appeased (humored in this case).

  4. It looks like I was not the only one who had some questions behind Brook’s thinking:

    Lost in the Muslim World

    “Brooks is missing the nuances of the problem. And the end result may be a funny film that fails to achieve its stated goal.

    The non-Arab Muslim World where Brooks is exploring has its issues. But itÂ’s the Arab Muslim World where most of the trauma we face in todayÂ’s world really begins.”

  5. I got to second Kush (if I have understood him correctly). Her accent was pretty bad…but it comes in a pretty package so I won’t say more (like I did last time) :) Besides which, if you heard me do an “Indian accent” you’d have me shot. I am a disgrace.

    I also agree with ads. I am already turned off to the idea of watching this movie if there is hackneyed “young hot ethnic woman-older white man” subplot. But then again I am not the target audience.

  6. “Her accent was pretty bad…but it comes in a pretty package”

    Definitely on both counts, especially the second one.

    However, I have to give points to her that it is far better than most of the ones I have seen in past, and she is not overdoing it. It could be better. Emphasing “the” in thick accent is pretty good.

    I’ll probably check out the movie.

    I have no objection to “young hot ethnic womain-older white man”. Equal opportunity…………..

  7. Actually her accent sounds more Mumbai (Kolaba) then Delhi, which seems to be the setting (do correct me). She actually does a pretty decent job.

  8. “Actually her accent sounds more Mumbai (Kolaba) then Delhi, which seems to be the setting (do correct me). She actually does a pretty decent job.”

    I wasnÂ’t criticizing her at all. I was having fun in doing original Indian accent myself after I checked out the trailerÂ…Â…In a way, it was a backhanded compliment.

    We all can nit-pick.

    I have seen her before in American Chai and other movies too.

  9. “I have seen her before in American Chai and other movies too.”

    American Chai – unwatchable. Sheth was much better in ABCD.

  10. Manish wrote…

    Yeah, but did you see The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Shelley Malil makes Sheetal Sheth sound like Mirza Ghalib.

    Ghrrrr…stop this spinning. Rokiye is jhamat ko.

  11. Manish says,

    Yeah, but did you see The 40-Year-Old Virgin? Shelley Malil makes Sheetal Sheth sound like Mirza Ghalib.

    Asadullah Khan says,

    Ghrrrr…stop this spinning.

    Look. Let me break this down. Manish doesn’t much dig her accent either. However, he knows that she went to NYU (and probably hangs around NYC a lot) and that she is HOT. The number one rule of Fight Blog Club is: don’t blog smack about potential future dream wives… This is why I have no shot with MIA anymore.

    I am all about blogging integrity…but not if it will help perpetuate my interminable bachelorhood. Kudos Manish. I feel you man. :)

  12. I am all about blogging integrity…but not if it will help perpetuate my interminable bachelorhood.

    I’ve got news for you about blogging then ;)

  13. Oooh. Her eyes are like limpid pools of chocolate. Heh. Something about pretty women that brings out the pathetic poet in me.

  14. I agree – She is very pretty! In one of her interviews on her website, she mentions that people often tell her “she doesn’t look Indian”. People, there is no ONE indian face or set of features (please no stats, razib!). I just think that due to the extremely limited views of beauty and too many stereotypical roles in the media, people don’t equate “indian” and “pretty” together. I’m not exactly sure what they are expecting, but they obviously have a pretty clear idea of what an indian must look like. Idiots! My own experience is that the indian face can be very ambiguous, and sometimes the only defining factor is a recognizable context, like a sari, or an indian name. If you don’t have either, you’ll get mistaken for everything else except for indian ethnicity! And then when the truth is revealed, the person in question will get a very insulting “oh, but so and so is sooo pretty”. Bafoons!

  15. Sheth is undeniably attractive, but ABCD–quite possibly the worst movie I have ever seen. The entire cinema was lauging at the appalling script and appalling acting. I still remember the scene where she yelled at a newspaper vendor that she was from a higher caste. Anyway, I will probably check out this movie, but I sincerely hope her acting has improved. (And by the way, I was not raised in the US, so some have pointed out to me that my dislike of ABCD was that I couldn’t relate to the strugle that her character went through in the movie. I found it bizarre. But now that I have lived here 5 years, maybe I should see it again.)

  16. This past April, I was at the Opening Night Gala for the Indian Film Festival of LA when I saw a very fetching young woman who people were going out of their way to speak to. The fuss that some people made suggested to me that she wasn’t a “regular” partygoer. I asked someone who the woman was and they said, “Sheetal Sheth.” In short, my first encounter with Sheth was in person and I’ve been a fan ever since.

  17. god, is this going to degrade into another pathetic back-and-forth of “she’s hot”, “no she isn’t” for triple-digit comments?

  18. god, is this going to degrade into another pathetic back-and-forth of “she’s hot”, “no she isn’t” for triple-digit comments?

    LOL. No, I think it’s going to turn into, “I met her and she ain’t hot” “I saw her at so and so’s wedding and she was the hawttest person ever” post.

  19. us brown men might hone in on the fact the desi woman has a “crush” on albert brooks. she’s extremely beautiful, and its extremely always the way these movies work. but come on, its the way these movies always work. just get over it. its been happening since sacajaweia. there’s a manner in which cross cultural experiences that white men have can not really occur without the man falling in love with a woman and exploring the culture in the context of a relationship with a woman. its tiring for us, brown men. particularly since Sheetal Sheeth is v. v. v. hot.

    but my plan is to just ignore the possibility of this tiresome plot device and the fact its tiresome when its replicated in life, and just enjoy the rest of this movie, which looks pretty good

    “they” won’t “take” all “our” women, there’s like 500 million of them and, besides, lots of “them” probably can’t afford to go to india anyway so “we” are safe

  20. Just saw the promo for the movie. I don’t believe this. Looking for Comedy in the Muslim world = India ?? How many of you know the percentage of muslims in India? It’s less than 12-13%. So then, how is India a part of the Muslim World ?

    Weird how none of you pointed to that. Yes lets discuss ratings and how hot Ms.Sheetl is but hey! India is not a muslim country. No offence to my brown muslim brothers but it’s a secular country. IF you gotta name India under a religion shouldn’t it be a Hindu country ? More than 85% Indians are Hindus then how is “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World” being directed at India ?? How are they showing all these Hindus and Sikhs in the movie promo but naming it “…Muslim World” ????

    The White Americans might be a little ignorant but hell they ain’t dumb. What’s the point/agenda behind all this?

  21. Yeah India has a significant number of Muslims but thats because India has a significant number of humans anyway !!

    My point was that when you talk about going to a country of the Muslim world, you should talk about countries like Saudia Arabia, UAE, Iran or Pakistan which are Islamic Countries… and not India where muslims are just 12-13%.

  22. I saw these on the Pickled Politics blog a little while ago — they’re quite funny (no offence intended to any Muslims here on SM — the original post was by a Muslim himself):

    (Number 4 is my favourite — imagine some dodgy uncle saying that in true Prem Chopra/Feroz Khan style)

    1. Oh my gosh! I just saw part of your hair, now you’re obliged to marry me.

    2. Our parents engaged us when we were little; they must have forgotten to tell you.

    3. I’d like to be more than just your brother in Islam.

    4. To watch you pray is a sin of its own.

    5. Will my platinum VISA cover your dowry?

    6. You can’t play basketball with a jilbab on; marry me and we can go one-on-one our entire life.

    7. Muslims are supposed to have many children, and I am more than willing to do my part…

    8. Will you help the cause of the Ummah by helping me fulfill my deen? ”

    9. Wanna pray in jamaat? Shoulder to shoulder, feet to feet?

    10. Assalamualaikum, so what time does a hurain like you have to be back in Heaven?

    11. What school of thought do you follow, because I thought about you all through school.

    12. Can I have your Wali’s phone number?

    13. So, read any good Surahs lately?

    14. Do you believe in the hereafter? Oh, you do? Then you know what I’m hereafter.

    15. Would you like to see my collection of Bukhari’s?

    16. Let’s get married so I don’t have to lower my gaze every time you walk in the room.

    17. Didn’t we meet when I went on Hajj/on the day we testified Allah was our lord?

    18. Is your dad a terrorist, ‘cuz you da bomb!

    19. I’ve had to fast every day since I first saw you.

    20. That Noor on your face really brings out your eyes.

  23. Thanks Jai Singh..LOL. They are all funtastic but #3, #13 and #16 just cracked me up. Awesome! I am gonna send a copy to all Muslim friends. Some of them can definitely be used to weed out the girls without any sense of humour. Thanks for posting that, Jai.

  24. And some more from a link posted on the same PickledPolitics thread:

    1. You remind me of the Ka’aba. I can walk around you all day long.
    2. Would you like to help me wake up for Fajr*?
    3. Are you a Shiite? Because when I saw you, I said to myself, “She aiight”.
    4. I thought the “Hoor Al-Ayn” only lived in Jannah.
    5. That hijab really compliments your eyes..
    6. Do you wanna date? I bought a box full when I went to Madinah.
    7. Girl, you fine. I see praying five times a day has paid off.
    8. That’s a nice burka. Can I talk you out of it?
    9. I need to break my fast. Can I have a date?
    10. I didnt trip over my thobe, I fell for you.
    11. I know Halal meat does a body good, but damn, how much you been eatin’? (*Fajr = early morning prayers)

    Thanks SM and JaiSingh for bringing tears to my eyes. I hope they’ve made the movie half as outrageously funny as this list.

  25. Shazia Mirza is wonderful. Said she went to Mecca and someone pinched her bottom. But she didn’t worry,knew it was the hand of God. Said she talked of her trip to her girlfriends and seemed they had also felt the hand of God.

    Now you know why they are all heading off to Mecca next Tues.

    Said the police were rounding up every brown person with a mustache. Said they picked up her mother.

  26. Yeah, I just wrote up a whole tip on this movie before I realized that y’all knew about this months in advance. Can I just say, as a white person, even I could pick out how offensive this movie was. Please please please don’t think that this movie is representative of how most non-Indian Americans view Indians. I swear we don’t all fall for this type of bad movie. Hmmm. Wonder why it won this Dubai Festival prize thing. Quite mysterious.

  27. I hope this movie bombs. “comedy in the muslim world”?? MOST OF THE MOVIE IS SET IN FREAKING INDIA? this is such garbage. the least mr. brooks could do is set the movie in a country that is majority muslim. or acknowledge that hindus, sikhs, muslims, jains, and christians are all different religions. sure they live in the same country, but that doesn’t make them all part of the “muslim world”. what a douche. of course, this idea might be too difficult for indians

  28. Suhail – Thanks for the feedback, bro. I liked the extra ones you posted too, especially 28 & 33 ;)

    (Sorry about the delay in replying — I do remember reading your messages a couple of weeks ago, but I couldn’t remember which thread they were on when I got a chance to reply).

  29. Well, as a Muslim after just looking trailer I deceide not to go for full movie watch, as it is Jew Indien Co production having no reality or so, what does it mean there is no Comedian in Iran or So, for those who dont know there are world class Comedians atleast in Pakistan. At the end I would like to say here again the same mistake putting something forward without a real effort, what about to make a file really in Pakistan? belive me Indians are also eager to make films in Pakistan these days!!!

  30. I thought I’d just interject a funny post to try and lighten the mood a bit.

    Personally though, I’m waiting for the sequel to this movie to come out, “Looking for Comedy in a train wreck’d world”