From The Washington Post:
The audience applauded, the lights came up, and John Podesta, distinguished head of a liberal Washington think tank, stood before the crowd to praise the film they had all just seen — “a wonderful movie,” he said, that will “teach us something about ourselves.”
One moment, please. All of this earnest uplift and official Washington approbation for . . . an Albert Brooks movie? This almost-Brooks is summoned to Washington by a fictitious federal commission led by former senator Fred Dalton Thompson (playing himself). The panel wants the comedian to undertake a month-long mission to India and Pakistan, where, in an effort to help America better understand Muslims, he will try to find out what makes them laugh.
The cast and crew shot about 40 days in India, says producer Herb Nanas. One nighttime sequence in the new film is set in Pakistan — a nation not as accustomed to Western filmmakers as India — and it may or may not have been shot there. “We were really close” to the Pakistani border, producer Nanas says with a grin. “We were really, really, really close to Pakistan.”