Bruno: Will It Be Funny?

Do you appreciate a good roasting of American cultural values? Bruno, Sasha Baron Cohen’s new movie about an outrageously gay Austrian fashion designer, is set to land in Seattle theaters on July 10th. There’s been a fair amount of buzz about the movie, and I know a lot of folks in Seattle who are expecting to fall as hard for Bruno as they did for Borat.  But the reviews  trickling in  appear…mixed. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Borat was, despite his cheerful bigotry, somehow a lovable character. His questions sprang from the sweet innocence of a third-world bumpkin wallowing in isolated ignorance. With Bruno, you mostly feel annoyed. A gay Austrian fashionista would be no ignorant rube. He would be sophisticated, savvy and certainly aware of prejudices against gays. Would he really prance semi-naked through Middle Eastern holy sites?

….Consequently, the character’s gayness reads false. Baron Cohen needs to spend more time in certain gay bars if he wants to learn how to do “flamboyant” and “fabulous.” It’s a ghost of the real thing.

Now, I don’t think Sasha needs to go to bars to learn how to ‘act like a gay man’. If Sasha accurately portrayed a gay man in Bruno, it would be a terribly boring movie (gay people, like straight people, can be really boring to watch for an hour and a half). On the other hand, if the portrayal doesn’t contain a germ of truth, it will probably  fall into the trap of being too ridiculous to be funny.

…I guess we’ll all just have to wait until July 10th before passing judgement.

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