Defending Your Life/Looking for Comedy in a Muslim World [DVD]

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Overview

Special Features

  • Defending Your Life: Additional scenes
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World: Cast/filmmaker profiles
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World
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. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Defending Your Life
Albert Brooks wrote, directed, and stars in this philosophical comedy about a man having a hard time making a case for himself in the afterlife. When advertising executive Daniel Miller (Albert Brooks) finds himself in a fatal car crash minutes after taking delivery on a new BMW, he's whisked away to Judgment City, where the recently dead are put on a sort of trial to decide their fate. If in your time on Earth you were able to face your fears and learn from your mistakes, you get to move on to a life in a better world. However, if you didn't, you have to go back to Earth and try again. As he spends the next several days watching various episodes from his life, Daniel gets the impression he doesn't stand much of a chance of moving on -- and his representative, Bob Diamond (Rip Torn), seems to have little confidence in his case. In the meantime, he frequents Judgment City's many restaurants (where the food is delicious and you can eat all you want without gaining an ounce), pays a visit to the Past Life Pavilion, and meets Julia (Meryl Streep), who seems so kind, sweet, and noble that her advancement is practically assured. Daniel and Julia fall in love, but what's going to happen if they don't end up in the same place? Albert Brooks and Meryl Streep make a witty and engaging romantic team in Defending Your Life, and Shirley MacLaine appears in a highly appropriate cameo. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Albert Brooks
    Albert Brooks - Albert Brooks
  • Sheetal Sheth
    Sheetal Sheth - Maya
  • Jon Tenney
    Jon Tenney - Mark
  • John Carroll Lynch
    John Carroll Lynch - Stuart
  • Amy Ryan
    Amy Ryan - Emily
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