With ‘Borat’, Sacha Baron Cohen attempts to reveal the prejudices of the American folk, attempting to expose bigotry and conformity through outrageous behaviour and un-PC remarks. For ‘Bruno’, I guess it’s pretty much the same thing. Like Bruno, Cohen goes to Los Angeles to ‘become famous’ (Borat goes to America to find out more about Americans, and also to find Pamela Anderson). He also has a reluctantly hired manager who is in love with Bruno. This time however, I think Cohen is less funny – most jokes seem to fall flat, are obvious (joining the US Marine Corp), or are plainly like a ‘Candid Camera’ show (e.g. the Paula Abdul interview) – a one-note joke that doesn’t really do much to ‘reveal’ homophobia and prejudices. Understandably, comedy is the hardest thing to do, especially if it relies on improvisation and unsuspecting people. But I have to give it to Cohen for the wrestling finale (yes another wrestling scene). I was hoping for more of that comedic outrageous-ness – unexpected and over-the-top – that was less about what Bruno wears or says.
One thought on “Brüno (2009)”
Understanding comedy also requires understanding of the cultural context it is addressing.