Albert Brooks – Modern Romance (1981)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

from IMDB
“Robert Cole, a film editor, is constantly breaking up with and reconciling with long-suffering girl friend Mary Harvard, who works at a bank. He is irrationally jealous and self-centered, while Mary has been too willing to let him get away with his disruptive antics. Can they learn to live with each other? Can they learn to live without each other? The movie also provides insight into film editing as Robert and co-worker Jay work on their current project, a cheesy sci-fi movie.” Continue reading

Albert Brooks – Defending Your Life (1991)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Enchanting, always funny, sometimes hilarious, and featuring a surprisingly light comic performance from the ever adaptable Meryl Streep, this is the most likeable and endearing comedy to date for writer/director/star Albert Brooks. His satirical edge, so sharp in his three previous films — Real Life (1979), Modern Romance (1981), and Lost in America (1985) — seems at first glance to have been dulled, even if his funny bone is still in perfect working order. But Brooks is still mocking the human race; it’s just that his humor has become gentler, suggesting that his longtime bitterness has evolved into a bemused, perceptive wisdom. Those who have become addicted to the Brooks oeuvre and its underlying neurotic cynicism might be dismayed that their favorite artistic pessimist has created a film that can be labeled heartwarming. But most Brooks fans will be delighted to find intact the brand of raw, naked honesty about the writer/director’s own shortcomings they expect, treated with a tender forgiveness that’s a new development to be sure, but an entirely welcome one. Peopled with memorable supporting players (particularly Rip Torn as a gruff but amiable legal eagle), and overflowing with creative ideas about the afterlife and its machinations, Defending Your Life amounts to a must-see film from one of the funniest, most under-appreciated filmmakers of our time. — Karl Williams
Continue reading

Albert Brooks – Lost in America (1985)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

from allmovie:

Bored with their cushy suburban existence, yuppie David (Albert Brooks) talks his wife Linda (Julie Hagerty) into selling everything they own and hitting the road to “see America.” As a starting-over gesture, David and Linda are romantically remarried in Las Vegas — which, ironically, proves to be the beginning of the end of their idyll. In short order, Linda loses their life’s savings, the couple nearly self-destructs at Hoover Dam, they take blue-collar jobs in a go-nowhere Arizona town, and….Well, if you know your Albert Brooks, be prepared for a steady stream of manic social satire. — Hal Erickson
Continue reading

Albert Brooks – Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World (2005)

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/34/Looking_for_Comedy_in_the_Muslim_World_film.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

A humorous story of what happens when the U.S. Government sends comedian Albert Brooks to India and Pakistan to find out what makes the over 300 million Muslims in the region laugh. Brooks, accompanied by two state department handlers and his trusted assistant, goes on a journey that takes him from a concert stage in New Delhi, to the Taj Mahal, to a secret location in the mountains of Pakistan. It’s a comedic, insightful look at the some of the issues we are dealing with in a post-9/11 world. Continue reading

Albert Brooks – Real Life [+Extras] (1979)

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_9z23770BWZA/TTci_F7EdzI/AAAAAAAAAJA/kygg-_hMeEY/s1600/Real+Life.jpg

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

“A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let he and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series ‘An American Family’. However, instead of remaining unobtrusive and letting the family be themselves, he can’t help himself from trying to control every facet of their lives ‘for the good of the show’.”

Brooks’ first feature isn’t as sharp or developed as his later masterpieces like Lost in America and Mother, but there are a lot of laughs within the groundbreaking parody, surely an inspiration for the style of This Is Spinal Tap, and a nice primer for his upcoming Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World, where he again plays a character named Albert Brooks. I’ve included an interview with Brooks and an absolutely hilarious trailer for Real Life which has pretty much nothing to do with the movie itself. Continue reading