Photo Credit: Coming Soon
In Rock the Kasbah, which opened in theaters nationwide on October 23, Bill Murray as Richie Lanz takes a rock star adventure as a down-and-out record producer with illusions of grandeur that get him stuck in 1970s Afghanistan.
Richie’s first rising star is songbird Ronnie, played by a hilarious Zooey Deschanel, who couldn’t land a wedding singer gig let alone a recording contract. She improbably attracts the interest of a very drunk bar patron who happens to book USO acts. And, in the blink of an eye, suddenly he and his untalented crooner are off to entertain the troops in Afghanistan.
The pair have great chemistry – but unfortunately Ronnie quickly disappears, leaving Richie stranded in Kabul with no money and no passport.
Of course the vanishing act is crucial to the plot, because that’s when he discovers a young Pashtun woman, Salima (Leem Lubany) with a truly angelic voice and a dangerous dream of appearing on the Afghan version of “American Idol.”
Richie decides he has to help, but given the strict Islamic prohibitions against that sort of thing, it could get Salima killed by the Taliban – especially considering that it’s an American who’s on her side.
The 65-year-old former SNL star is joined by a rather impressive cast including Bruce Willis who told Matt Lauer on The Today Show that the film is “Murray’s best picture.”
Bruce plays Bombay Bryan, a heavily-armed fixer, the gorgeous Kate Hudson is Merci, an American enchantress with a heart of gold that runs a one-woman brothel out of a double-wide, and the always funny Danny McBride, who is a Herbalife salesman turned gun runner.
While Bill is definitely in his element as a fish-out-of-the-water character, critics have claimed that the film doesn’t quite make the mark. The screenplay gives the actors little to work with and the story just doesn’t come together.