Los Angeles Times By Patrick Goldstein
Albert Brooks, who satirized America’s voyeuristic streak two decades ago, ponders the world of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Millionaire.’
ALBERT BROOKS first feature film, “Real Life,” made 21 years ago, was about a madcap filmmaker who attempts to document the everyday world of a model suburban family of four. But what begins as cinema verite ends up as cinema carnival as the director, played by Brooks, proceeds to pester, manipulate and ultimately destroy their lives. The satire was loosely based on a popular 1970s PBS documentary series “An American Family,” where a filmmaker chronicled the day-to-day life of the Loud family of Santa Barbara.
Not everyone got the joke. Brooks says that Rex Reed lambasted “Real Life,” saying, “Why would a studio give this idiot the money to do this kind of nutty experiment?”
People Online JACQUE JONES
Albert Brooks thinks about inspiration
Ask writers their biggest fear in life and most will undoubtedly reply “writer’s block.” Try to imagine the frantic feeling that your creative well has run dry at the same time that your livelihood depends on it flowing and you’ll get the panic behind Albert Brooks’s new comedy The Muse. Brooks plays a Hollywood screenwriter desperate for inspiration who finds it with a little help from a real-life Muse (Sharon Stone). (The Muses, according to Greek mythology, were the nine daughters of Zeus, who inspired artists with boundless creativity.) She turns out to be so powerful that even such real-life directors as Rob Reiner, Martin Scorsese and James Cameron appear in cameos for a quick consult. Brooks talked with PEOPLE Online’s Jacque Jones about his inspiration for the film, his own muse, writer’s block and being an inspiration to others.
Q: How did the idea for The Muse come about?
A: I always felt that one of the best bits I ever did on “The Tonight Show” was where I literally ran out of material. I was only five years into my career and I just sat in a chair and looked at the camera and said, “I have no more material left. Now don’t think I couldn’t do the cheap stuff because I could. I could drop my pants and draw a face” and I wound up doing all the stuff I said I would never do. That idea of running out and finding someone to come up with stuff is a gift. It’s such a romantic fantasy notion that there’s this goddess looking over you to make sure you can write. Continue reading
The New York Observer by Rex Reed
Salvaging what remains of the worst summer I can remember, I am off to greener pastures where, if I? lucky, I will not see a cell phone, a pierced tongue, a computer, a rock video, a traffic jam or a single motion picture released after 1950. Before I go, here are a few notes on how to get through the rest of August. First, don? miss The Muse, a charming broadside against the insanity of Hollywood by writer-director Albert Brooks that establishes Sharon Stone as a new goddess of comedy who will surprise and delight you despite what you think of her already. Continue reading
New York Daily News By BART MILLS
Albert Brooks has been kicking around Hollywood for more than three decades. But the way he tells it, it’s more like Hollywood has been kicking him around.
Despite having developed a signature comedic style as an actor, writer and director with such stellar films as “Defending Your Life” and “Lost in America,” Brooks still thinks Hollywood doesn’t, well, really get him.
Film roles don’t drop in his lap and script offers don’t ring his phone off the hook, which explains why he often writes for himself and let’s the chips fall where they may.
“I don’t generally see Albert Brooks comedies written by other people,” he says with his singular brand of irony. “That’s why I have to make ’em myself. I’m a lazy guy. If they were all around, I’d go act in ’em.”
New York Times By MARGY ROCHLIN
LOS ANGELES — On a recent hot afternoon, Albert Brooks could be found in his office at Universal Studios, getting worked up over a snapshot.
“It means nothing!” exclaimed Brooks, when asked about the lone item tacked to a cork bulletin board on his wall — a photograph of him standing alongside Elton John, who composed the score for Brooks’ latest movie, “The Muse,” which opens Friday.
ShoWest award-winners Brooks and Johnson find lots of love with Mother.
The Hollywood Reporter By Jerry Roberts
He was born with the name Albert Einstein. She’s been married nine times and says that, in her younger years, being a medical assistant and a go-go dancer was my dream, but the writing thing came up. Is it any surprise that the two would team to write some of the wittiest, most off-the-wall film comedies of our time?
People Magazine by PAM LAMBERT
Back in the summer of 1995, Albert Brooks began searching for a woman to play the title role in his new movie, Mother, a comedy about a middle-aged writer (Brooks) who, after two divorces, tries to straighten out his life by moving in with his mom. Doris Day turned him down, saying that at age 72 she was through with films. Nancy Reagan, 75, met with Brooks but felt she couldn’t spend the time away from her ailing husband. Then Brooks got the idea to ask Debbie Reynolds, 64, star of Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and mother of his friend Carrie Fisher. After hearing her read one scene, recalls Reynolds, Brooks said, ” `You’ve got the part.’ I said, `Albert, you shouldn’t take me on just one scene. Shouldn’t I read two?’ And he said, `See, you’re bossing me around already.’ ”
WHO BETTER TO ASSESS ALBERT BROOKS’ MOTHER THAN ALBERT BROOKS’ MOTHER? THELMA BERNSTEIN TELLS US HOW CREATIVE HER YOUNGEST SON REALLY IS.
Entertainment Weekly Review by Thelma Bernstein, Lois Alter Mark
Although I don’t feel Mother (1996, Paramount, PG-13, $101.99) is about me, the first thing I did after seeing the movie was run to my freezer. Not that I had an eight-pound hunk of cheese in there like the mother in the film, but I must tell you, the next day it was a lot emptier. I do buy ice cream and sherbet in large quantities–I never know if someone’s going to come in or if I’m going to need it–and I opened one box and saw a little “protective ice.” I couldn’t believe it. That box went right down the drain.
USA Today By Marshall Fine
Comedian/filmmaker Albert Brooks knows that opportunity rarely knocks twice. That’s why he said yes when asked if he’d like to be honored with a retrospective of his films at the first U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, which starts Wednesday in Aspen, Colo. Continue reading
Rolling Stone by Bill Zehme
Hello and welcome. You have begun to read something we like to call the Albert Brooks Celebrity Profile. This is an exciting opportunity for you to learn about Albert Brooks, a man most experts believe to be the funniest human being currently living. You say, If Albert Brooks is so funny, why haven’t I seen more of him? The answer is not simple, but let me ask you this: Is it necessary to see more of someone in order to appreciate how funny he or she is? In fact, aren’t most people actually funnier in retrospect than they are when you’re with them? And whats funny, anyway? It’s a foolish word, when you think about it. Funny. How would you like to be called funny? It’s not exactly dignified, is it? Therefore, if people were running around calling you the funniest man alive, maybe you wouldn’t want to be making a public spectacle of yourself. Maybe you’d like a little privacy and prefer to stay at home and watch a great deal of television and think about death. Well, thats what comedian-auteur Albert Brooks has done, and now he’s ready to talk about it – just in time to coincde with the release of his fourth film in twelve years, Defending Your Life, in which he and Meryl Streep portray two very funny dead people.