If you're Albert Brooks, it evidently means that you keep churning out variations of your first movie, hoping one of them will eventually be your
That Looking for Comedy so closely resembles Albert Brooks' Every Other Movie is forgivable; that it cheats us of the premise of the title in doing so is less so. An audience paying money to see a film called Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World should, I think, expect to see a comedian looking for comedy, perhaps even in the Muslim world. Brooks confounds these expectations by saying nothing of relevance about cultural differences, comedy, xenophobia or any of the other touchstones one might expect from something with a title like this, content instead to drive the plot right up his plothole with a lot of jokes about his career stalling. Hilarious! This, to me, has always been Albert Brooks' Achilles heel, and proof that the man would be better served writing movie premises than self-directed vehicles: He has a knack for luring you in with an intriguing idea, then ignoring it in favor of another self-inflicted colonoscopy.
I'm reminded of Defending Your Life, another Brooks film with the intriguing premise of afterlife-as-Law & Order, where the recently deceased prove their worth in purgatorial court, with the help of a movie screen projecting snippets of their lives. If you think this sounds like a neat premise, you'll understand why I rented it; if you expected that