Bruno (2009) – 4.5/5

This movie was freaking hilarious. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard so consistently. The critics were wrong. Dare I say, it’s better than Borat, and is arguably the funniest comedy I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Not only is it hilarious, but there are also slight hints of social commentary thrown in that are really effective. **SPOILERS** I loved the interview with Paula Abdul, where she talks about how she wants to help people make their lives better as she’s sitting on a Mexican guy Bruno hired to pose as a chair. Or the whole end scene with the cage match and the hundreds of angry, screaming rednecks. Or the scene where he “engages” with his dead lover as the psychic watches on. **END SPOILERS** Hahaha!

The story was also pretty solid, considering it was partly strung together from real life events. It didn’t suffer from Borat’s schmaltzy ending; everything felt natural, nothing forced. Except the midget sex scene which was just crazy.

And some scenes were just plain demented. This movie constantly walked the line between hilarity and dementia, and if the filmmakers weren’t as careful as they had been, some scenes could have easily ended up being downright disturbing and unwatchable. Namely the “tv show test screening” scene, the “camp out” scene, and the whole “swingers” scene. Even the ending cage match scene was pretty twisted.

But it was all just funny enough to stay entertaining, and that’s the real brilliance of this film. It’s hilarious, thanks mostly to Sasha Baron Cohen who is brilliant and extremely quick on his feet. The man deserves an award, or more awards. He’s just great. How he pulled this off is beyond me.

This is a truly groundbreaking film, more so than Borat in my opinion. I think the reason it didn’t do as well, and isn’t liked as much, is because of the flamboyantly gay lead character and the many wacky, homoerotic situations he gets himself into. It’s a sensitive topic.

The last big set piece of this film, the cage match, perfectly illustrates the attitude that many people in this country have toward homosexuals. Granted, Cohen tricked all those people into witnessing something they’d probably never thought they’d see in their lives, thus fueling their rage further, but come on, how stupid do you have to be to not realize that you’re being put on? He called the damn thing “Straight Dave’s Man Slamming Maxout.” Obviously, something out of the ordinary was bound to happen.

So, great movie, brilliant even, but a bit too extreme for mainstream, I think. Also, once again, way too much male nudity, but eh, it was hilarious nonetheless. Truly groundbreaking stuff. Watch it!

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