July 19, 2009

#032: Bruno

Sacha Baron Cohen follows up Borat with another controversial comedy. This time starring Bruno, a flamboyant Austrian fashionista with an appetite for the spotlight. I saw Borat in the theater, but I had no intention of rushing out to the theater to see Bruno. I was willing to wait for it to come out on DVD. However, I read a couple articles describing scenes that were filmed here in Arkansas, and it piqued my curiosity enough to go watch it on opening night with some friends. Yes, that makes 3 trips to the theater in 3 weeks... this is unprecedented. There really isn't a good reason to see this movie in the theater other than to be one of the "cool" kids that can talk about it later.

Bruno is a very funny movie. It made me laugh a lot. However, it is one of those movies that seems awesome right when you watch it, but the more you think about it the more it loses that appeal. This movie uses its shock value to get laughs, but doesn't have anything substantial behind it. It definitely focuses on our society's desire for fame, and points out some of the lengths people are willing to go to in order to obtain said fame. It is almost more about being famous than being gay. While some scenes are shocking... it felt more like a reality show rather than a movie. Bruno actually didn't feel much like a movie at all. It has the same format as Borat. The star conducts real interviews with unknowing "victims" and they are loosely strung together by a fictional plot. I felt the fictional plot in Borat was distracting and actually took away from the interview segments. I think Bruno's plot is just as stupid, but it didn't take me out of the flow nearly as much as Borat's did. The one thing you really have to appreciate about this movie is the performance of Sacha Baron Cohen. He only has one take to do most of these scenes and if he screws it up, they can't use it. He does an awesome job of never breaking character in all kinds of situations. I am not sure how much of it was actually "real", but most of it seemed pretty genuine. I really enjoy watching his style of comedy, but I am not sure movies are the best medium for him to bring it to us. In summary, Bruno is a comedy that was created to make me laugh and it definitely succeeded at that. It also got nasty a few times, but it never offended me. I say wait for it to come out on DVD so you can rent it and watch it with your parents.

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