There are some laughs in this strange movie from writer-director-star Albert Brooks, but the film lacks the cleverness of his best, past efforts. Brooks plays himself, sent overseas by the United States government to study India and Pakistan to find out what makes Muslims laugh. It’s not the funniest of premises, and the film thrives on the sort of uncomfortable moments that might prove Brooks’ point, but don’t necessarily provide laughter. A scene where Brooks does a comedy show in India, where the audience sits stone-faced, leaves us stone-faced as well. Brooks manages one or two good satiric moments, but the effort winds up being much ado about nothing. It’s also hurt by an ending that is atrocious. He needs to make a Lost in America sequel.


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