“Sacha Baron bares it all”

_ BRUNO_

Title: BRUNO

The following is a sample conversation I fear may take place in homes all over the country. Him – “Honey, the guy who voices that funny animal in Madagascar has a new movie out. We should go see it.” Her – “I love Julian! Let’s go see it dear.” Then afterwards they have to spend their child’s entire college fund on mental therapy. Bruno is the new character comedy from Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen. It is shockingly outlandish and makes no apologies in its attempt to offend and stereotype. I feel it is my duty to prepare you for the film more than review its creativeness and art. Cohen’s ability to show the reality of social reaction may be enlightening but it certainly will not be everyone’s cup of theater tea.

Bruno (SBC) is a gay Australian fashion aficionado who when ousted from his homeland decides to come to America in the pursuit of becoming world famous. While here he pokes fun at everything the real stars do to get their faces on magazines and television. Like Borat, the ingenuity of the film is that most of the participants do not know it is fiction. Bruno does the bizarre and we get the humor of the reaction from those who can’t believe what they are seeing and hearing. Put someone as flamboyant as Bruno on a hunting trip with three back wood Alabama boys who have no idea they are in a movie and what you get is awkward hilarity. It is those moments that make this film a hit. But unfortunately there is a lot in here that could have been trashed.

This film is wall to wall graphic in its sexual content. That is the foundation of the Bruno character and a prominent fixture. If you are in any way put off or offended by the look, reference to, or depiction of the male anatomy and homosexual acts then high tale it over to The Proposal, cause this isn’t your film, Jack. You must do your homework on a movie like this. Those who witnessed Borat know what they are getting into. If all you have to go on is the poster of the funny man in the tight yellow shorts that looks like it might be a date night comedy, then you are walking into blunt force shock trauma. If you know ahead of time the creators desire to use these offensive moments to depict human reaction and are prepared you will laugh a lot. I did. But I knew what I was getting into and I was bracing myself for the onslaught of crude.

If you want to put this film in any sort of redemptive art classification I have this to say about it. Though I would never place these movies in the same talent galaxy as the greatness of Stephen King there is a similarity here that intrigues me. Read a King story like The Mist and you soon discover that what is hiding in the Mist is not nearly as terrifying as the reaction of humans to that which is in the mist. The ugliness and cruelty of human nature in the grip of unknown fear is horrifying. Likewise, Bruno himself is not nearly as hilarious as the reaction of normal society to Bruno. People are fascinating to watch and to watch them when they are pushed to the extreme of their comfort level is a profound documentary of human nature. That is the element of films like Bruno that make them so compelling to me. How’s that for a silver lining?

Bruno is rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language. Seriously people be smart movie goers. Keep your kids far away from this one and do not even attempt o make this a family outing regardless of the age. Even on a date night you will be more than uncomfortable. If you offend easy and can’t find the humor in the asinine then don’t bother. You will just walk out frustrated or worse. As I said I found it side splittingly funny at times but at the expense of a few brain cells. I give it 3.5 out of 5 Gayby’s, Agree or not with his motive but SBC is the king of character comedy. Just be prepared at the lengths he will go to get a reaction. So says Matt Mungle

Matt Mungle (matt@mungleshow.com) (7/07/09)

(3.5 out of 5)

Review copyright 2009 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.

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