As I am sure that many of you have noticed, the R&R has been on a sort of summer sabbatical. June and July are two of our favorite twelve months to travel and we have been dividing our time between the R&R writing camp in the Adirondacks and our summer home in the South of France. We even mixed in a bit of island-hopping in the Greek Isles with some of our Hollywood friends and a slew of swimsuit models.
After receiving our first screening pass in weeks, we decided to get back on the horse and cowboy up. Last nights screening of Bruno was something that we here at the R&R had been anxiously awaiting since we first caught wind of the event. With our bellies full of CPK and Sam Adams, we arrived at the theatre and jumped in line like good little Russians waiting for our cheese ration. Once we made our way to the theatre door single file, we were told by the warden, err usher, that they were confiscating all cell phones. With sly, shit-eating grins on our faces, we slid by the cell phone check point only to turn the corner and run head first into a security officer wanding down each movie-goer as if they were admitting immigrants into a refugee camp. We had no choice but to turn around and check our cell phones. The rationale behind this was beyond us. Strike one.
Entering the theatre, we were shocked to find 90% of the mid and upper section roped off with “reserved” signs. Reserved for whom? Certainly not for us, the goddamn critics. The remaining seats in the prime section were obviously filled first, so we had no choice but to retreat to the lower level. Luckily, the theatre hadn’t completely filled up and we were able to sit far enough back to avoid the inevitable neck cramping that comes with sitting in the first few rows. Once the theatre doors were closed, the usual pre-screening shenanigans began. Some representatives from Creative Loafing and 99X quizzed the crowd and gave out free t-shirts and movie posters. It is absolutely amazing what some people will do for free crap. It’s as if they were giving away free iPods or economic stimulus checks instead of double-XL Sacha Baron Cohen t-shirts. The real shocker came when a guy from 99X uttered this little gem: “We all know that gay people do a lot of screwing, so start naming some other things that screw!!!” As if all gay people are sex addicts or deviants. Wow. Talk about a law suit waiting to happen. Strike 2. Bruno was about to begin, and the R&R was hoping that Mr. Cohen would help us laugh our way into emptying our short-term memories.
The main character in Bruno is of course the flamboyantly gay Austrian fashionista Bruno (Cohen) who is the “it” when it comes to fashion in German speaking countries that aren’t Germany. Unfortunately for Bruno, he has an unfortunate incident with his Velcro suit at a runway show and is pretty much banished from the fashion world. This starts his odyssey to America in attempts to once again become famous, which includes adopting an “African American” baby from Africa like Angelina and Madonna, trying to bring peace to the Middle East, pitching a talk show to CBS and attempting to become straight. If the jokes and scenes seem oddly familiar, it’s because many follow the same general path as Borat: Cultural Learnings of America Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. We had no problem with the whole premise of the movie, or the fact that Bruno was gay or the star. We both expected this movie to be just as funny if not funnier than Borat. Plus, we knew it would be edgy. But, instead of a hilarious gay fish out of water movie we got rehashed Borat jokes sprinkled throughout a gay porno. We love crude and obscene jokes as much as the next guy, however, when the movie’s objective is not to be funny but to be extremely outrageous (think zoomed-in shot of Cohen’s penis flopping up and down and then after 30 seconds the pee hole saying “Bruno”)…it just becomes an excruciating bore.
The best all-around scene was when Bruno got a gig as an extra on Medium, but other than that, almost all of the funniest parts were seen in the previews hyping it. Most of the flick consisted of penises, dildos, homophobes and an uninspiring plot lacking much humor. The plot, by the way, is eerily similar to Borat. Strike 3. How did a 75 minute movie seem longer than Titanic? We can’t help but think this movie is going to make few laugh and many uncomfortable. We give Bruno a Spork Rating of:
Christopher J. Robinson & BA Roof
Opens Friday, July 10, 2009 Nationwide