Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Bruno

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Rated R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Profanity:Very strong, vulgar, and offensive language
Nudity/Sex:Extremely graphic and explicit nudity (male and female) and sexual references and situations (gay and straight), some kinky variations
Alcohol/Drugs:Drinking
Violence/Scariness:Comic peril and violence
Diversity Issues:A theme of the movie
Movie Release Date:July 10, 2009
DVD Release Date:November 24, 2009

Sacha Baron Cohen is back, and once again he has created an outrageously offensive character from another country who crosses the ocean to interact with unsuspecting Americans so that we can laugh at their reactions, which range from befuddlement to extreme discomfort to outrage. But this time his scope is narrower, his character is shallower, and his meanderings are more random. His shtick is getting tired.
This time he plays Bruno, a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista who decides to come to America to seek fame, and his two themes are homophobia and the obsession with celebrity. But the homophobia is not as virulent as the worst revelations of “Borat.” When he goes camping with some good old boys, they roll their eyes and resist his efforts to bait them — until he takes off all his clothes and tries to crawl into one’s sleeping bag. The preachers who talk with him about gay conversion do their best to be sincerely patient with his questions. Even the boot camp sergeants barking at him to make his bed and drop and give them twenty handle his insubordination — and his designer additions to the overly “matchy-matchy” uniforms — with reasonably good humor. It’s a long way from “Full Metal Jacket.” The scariest people he encounters are the stage mothers who want him to pick their babies for a photo shoot. As he asks them increasingly appalling questions (“Could your baby lose some weight?” “Are you okay with the baby riding without a car seat?” “Being covered with bees?” “Being crucified?”), they all look him in the eye and assure him that would be just fine.
bruno.jpg
Baron Cohen wants to provoke. The movie opens with an extended sequence of very explicit, highly athletic, extremely creative, but logistically improbable sex acts between Bruno and his “pygmy flight attendant” boyfriend. But he stops short, oddly cautious for once, and avoids confrontation with the virulent anti-gay forces of Fred Phelps. When he goes to the Mideast and sits down with representatives of Israel and the Palestinians, he sticks with silliness like pretending to confuse hummus with Hamas. Baron Cohen is in trouble if his outrageousness is dwarfed by Jimmy Kimmel (the capper here does not come close to the Ben Affleck song) and by real life (the take on obsession with celebrity does not come close to Michael Jackson’s memorial). This is less what we expect from Baron Cohen that what we expect from Alan Funt or Ashton Kutcher.


Parents should know that this film has NC-17-level extremely crude, vulgar, intentionally offensive and graphic material throughout with very explicit sexual references and situations and male and female nudity, very strong and crude language, drinking, drug reference, and comic violence.
Family discussion: Is it fair for Sacha Baron Cohen to film people without telling them what is going on? How would you respond? Where is the line between what is funny and what is offensive?
If you like this, try: “Borat” and Cohen’s television series



  • Tim1974

    I have absolutely no interest in seeing this film. I find nothing, even in the slightest, funny about Cohen. In addition, I have no interest in seeing a film that contuinues the double standard of showing gratuitous male genitals in close up fashion. It is way past redundant and disturbingly disgusting. To me, the so called humor, the farce in trying to make a point, and the gratuitous male and female nudity make this film not worth even considering. I see nothing that can be achieved by Cohen acting crude and vulgar as far as making any significant social commentary. I believe that he has duped many into thinking that his outlandish, unfunny ways are making an important point. I will give this film, as well as the MPAA, a huge “F.”

  • http://bigdaveblogger.blogspot.com Big Dave

    I was looking forward to your take on this movie but some of your references went over my head (Fred Phelps, the Ben Affleck song). Also wondering whether you meant “crawl” instead of “call” with regards to the sleeping bag. As a frequent camper, I’ve crawled into many a sleeping bag, always my own, but calling into a sleeping bag is a new one on me.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Big Dave, and I’ll make the correction. Normally, I would have put in links to those references but in the case of Phelps, the most virulent anti-gay activist, I did not want to send any additional traffic to his site, and in the case of the Jimmy Kimmel/Ben Affleck video, it is so smutty (though very funny) that I did not think it was appropriate, even as a link.

  • Andreas Ulanowsky

    Hello!
    Just thought I’d mention that this film got an 11 and above here in Sweden. It’s because nudity and profanity is more accepted here in Sweden than violence.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Andreas — very useful, as always.

  • monkie

    I have to admit, I’m disappointed. I was really looking forward to this one until reading your review (though “very explicit, highly athletic, extremely creative, but logistically improbable sex acts” is the funniest thing I’ve read all week).

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/moviemom/ Nell Minow

    Thanks, Monkie! Though if you think that is funny, maybe you would like the movie!

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