From The Archives: BRUNO (2009).

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Comedy, Movies (B)


Somehow, Bruno did manage to make the ümlauts funny again.  When I saw those weird accent marks over the opening Universal logo, it was the first time out of many that I laughed loudly in the theater.

Know this about Bruno before anything else:  the movie is hysterical.  That’s the bottom line (no pun intended).  You definitely want to see it soon, and with the largest (no pun intended) crowd you can.  Sacha Baron Cohen might have caught us off guard with Borat, but even with fair warning, he still has the ability to surprise us with Bruno.  And this time around, things are arguably more dangerous for him, the stunts more daring, the comedy more confrontational.  Sacha Baron Cohen has big huge comedy balls, figuratively, and in Bruno we even get to see them.  Literally.

That’s where I may have overestimated my fellow American straight male audience though.  There is a lot of gayness in Bruno.  It’s all kinds of gay up in your face.  I’d like to see this movie become as huge a hit as Borat, but the box office tally tomorrow morning, and more importantly, next weekend, will be telling.  I’m not as sure as I was before that people can handle this one.

I wonder if it was almost funnier to watch the audience I was in the theater with – most people were laughing consistently but some made a big show of their disgust.  Four guys got up and walked out twenty minutes into the movie.  (If I remember right, it was the scene where Bruno and his lover get innovative with their bedroom techniques.)   The best was this guy who was there with his girl, who during the scene where Bruno shows his proposed TV show to an NBC focus group, got up angrily and stormed out, screaming “Yo fuck this movie, man! It’s sick! Can’t believe people are laughing at this shit!”  To his credit, he came right back in, and sat through the entire rest of the movie.  But he wasn’t happy about it, and I was lucky enough to be nearby to hear his grumblings.

Well, that’s fine.  I like a movie that pisses the right kind of people off.  I like a movie, for example, that goes after the God Hates Fags people.  (Those are the scumbags who picket the funerals of dead American soldiers with anti-gay posters.)  I think the God Hates Fags people are some of the worst people in America, and if the law prevents us from being allowed to beat them senseless with a pillowcase stuffed with bars of soap, then the next best thing is to set Bruno on them.  I don’t want to ruin many of the movie’s great gags, but maybe my favorite is when Bruno, garbed in black leather and strapped to another man (long story), hobbles right through a God Hates Fags assembly, shouting “My assistant is trying to shit on my balls!”

There are moments where this movie is SO necessary.

In its own ridiculous way, Bruno makes you think.  It definitely makes me think, although right now I’m fascinated with that dude who made such a huge deal out of being offended.  Speaking personally, I don’t particularly enjoy watching naked male genitalia on screen and I certainly wouldn’t want any one of them active near my general vicinity, but the only things that might actually offend me in movies are lousy storytelling, emotional dishonesty, and honest hatred.  It’d be hypocritical to act so grossed out by seeing male body parts when A) I have them myself, B) I’ve never acted grossed out by seeing female body parts on screen, and C) most of these guys (not me, of course) will go home after Bruno and watch X-rated movies that feature the same male body parts right up alongside silicone, collagen, and blond hair dye. 

To tell the truth, I turned my head away during a couple particularly lengthy (no pun intended) scenes in Bruno, but then again I was also laughing at the time.  I definitely didn’t feel the need to leave my seat – I just waited the penises out.  (That should be a pull quote for the TV ads. Pull quote – no pun intended.)  You have to wonder a little about those guys who directed way more attention to themselves by acting out so vocally and physically.  Why do they need the rest of us to know how disgusted they are?  Why make it such a big deal?  These are questions that I hope Bruno raises (no pun intended) on a national level.

All of that said, here’s a picture of Mrs. Bruno, Isla Fisher, because I’ve seen enough guy parts already this weekend.  I’m a pretty tolerant person but sometimes even I need a break.





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