May 11, 2007

Lost In America (Brooks, 1985)

Lost in America bears the hallmarks of much of Albert Brooks's work. In other words, it is incisively witty, intelligent, and most importantly, very very funny. What I love about Brooks's comedy is that it feels organic. The laughs stem from natural situations so they don't feel manufactured or artificial in the least. Almost every joke works in the sense that even if you're not laughing out loud, you are smiling. The highlight here is certainly Brooks's fantastic dialogue. There are a pair of exchanges that rank amongst the funniest I have ever seen, and as I was watching, I couldn't help but feel that the TV show Seinfeld was in some way influenced by Brooks's way with words and conversations. The only problem with the film, a problem I almost never encounter, is that it feels too short. The ending is jarringly abrupt, almost upsettingly so. It is as if the entire final act was accidentally excised during editing. Still, the 2/3rds of Lost in America that remain are funnier than every comedy released this year put together.

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