Picks and Pans Review: Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World

updated 01/30/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/30/2006 AT 01:00 AM EST

Albert Brooks, Jon Tenney

The setup is promising: Albert Brooks (playing a fictional version of himself) supposedly has been tapped by the State Department to visit India and Pakistan to find out what makes followers of Islam laugh. He is to write up his findings in a 500-page report. Heading east, he learns that Larry is the favorite Stooge of a Three Stooges fan in New Delhi, that Polish jokes are universal and that, by doing his own stand-up, he can bomb without using explosives. About half of Looking is wryly amusing but then, like an extended joke that drags on, the movie wears out its welcome, as does Brooks with his neurotic neediness. (PG-13)

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