Unlike for Sexman, Bruno met all of my expectations. I expected there to be really funny parts in the movie, and there were! And I expected certain aspects of the movie to leave me feeling kind of uncomfortable and confused, and certain aspects did! Perhaps the one way in which Bruno really did not meet my expectations is that I fully expected to leave the movie theater knowing whether I liked the movie or not, and I don’t! There are things I liked about it and things I didn’t like about it in almost equal number, and two days later I’m still not sure what to make of it.

What a weird movie, you guys!

First of all, let’s talk about some of the things that were funny. Like the entire Today with Richard Bey segment. Lots of Love. And also the scene where Bruno interviews all of the stage moms for the Hitler photoshoot with his baby. Those moms were crazy and would basically kill their babies to try and get them famous! Yikes, moms! Oh, and remember those two publicists who didn’t know how to say Darfur? They were dumb!

There were obviously other funny parts, but I’m getting bored of listing funny parts and want to get to talking about this movie’s problems.

Watching Bruno reminded me of I Am Sam, and other grand entries in the long tradition of serious actors playing the mentally retarded. At a certain point, the line between Sean Penn portraying a retarded person and Sean Penn mimicking a retarded person gets really blurry. That point is somewhere right after the opening credits and right before the second scene. Obviously, Bruno is a comedy, and the goals and motivations are different. But how far can something being a comedy take you in the defense of doing things that are weird and kind of terrible? At the very least, I’m not convinced it takes you far enough. This movie is obviously trying to be something bigger than a broad, dumb comedy. Cohen selects relevant, hot button issues to lampoon because those issues are more interesting and full of highly charged material. But then, if he misses the mark, it’s not just a joke that falls flat, it’s an insult. Or worse.

It’s not like the character doesn’t work. We have evidence that the character can work great.

But something changed. Like, that scene near the beginning where he was having sex with his boyfriend? What was that? Here is what A.O. Scott at the New York Times thinks it was:

An early sequence that graphically shows Brüno and his lover exerting themselves in various positions and with the assistance of, among other things, a Champagne bottle, a fire extinguisher and a specially modified exercise machine, derives its humor less from the extremity of their practices than from the assumption that sex between men is inherently weird, gross and comical. The same sequence with a man and a woman — or for that matter, two women — would play, most likely on the Internet rather than in the multiplex, as inventive, moderately kinky pornography rather than as icky, gasp-inducing farce.

Really, A.O. Scott? Would it play as inventive, moderately kinky pornography? A.O. Scott is a pervert! I am just kidding, he probably is not a pervert. But I don’t buy this argument. I think that scene was really gross, kind of offensive, and most importantly not funny. The argument that it was confronting viewers with their own repulsion at the idea of men having sex doesn’t really work for me, because it was confronting viewers with such an outrageous concept of sex that you can’t really separate the sources of your “repulsion.” And the fact of the matter is that Sacha Baron Cohen is not gay, so regardless of his good intentions or his “it’s a comedy” defense, the fact of the matter is that it’s still a heterosexual’s joke interpretation of gay sex, and something about that is weird to me.

Which gets to the heart of a lot of this: what is Sacha Baron Cohen doing here, and why is he doing it? This seems, again, to go beyond the simple desire to get a laugh. Sacha Baron Cohen could get lots of laughs with a lot less work than he obviously put into this movie. If nothing else, Bruno stands as an exhausting testament to his dedication. The entire sequence in the Middle East, for example? Oh my goodness! Be careful, Sacha Baron Cohen! And the gay conversion ministers were basically invented by God for this movie. But a lot of his other targets just struck me as odd. The Ron Paul scene, for example? Sacha Baron Cohen and Larry Charles, the movie’s director, were really lucky that Ron Paul had that sad “queer” explosion at the end to justify them putting the rest of the preceeding scene in the movie, because without him looking like a bigot, it would have just been a prancing comedian picking on an old man in a sad prank. Which is, actually, despite the “queer” explosion at the end, what it was. Ron Paul is a mildly eccentric politician, but he’s not really anyone’s enemy. Watching him squirm while a purported Austrian interviewer tries to seduce him in a bedroom wasn’t that funny, and it certainly wasn’t funny enough to support the “Ru Paul” joke to which that entire scene seemed to be in service.

And when the redneck on the hunting trip slaps the camera and tells everyone to get the fuck out, it wasn’t because he was homophobic (although he might have been homophobic), it was because he got woken up in the middle of the night, TWICE, by an incredibly obnoxious stranger. I would have smacked the camera and told everyone to get the fuck out, too. The joke that Sacha Baron Cohen makes, that a bear destroyed everything he had including his clothes and only left a pack of condoms is a really funny joke just on its own (again with the how he could get laughs without all the work), but as with a lot of the jokes in this movie, they’re thrown in the face of unsuspecting people who were probably just trying to get through the day. Which can be hard enough as it is sometimes.

So, I don’t know. I would like to see this movie again. It is certainly something.

You guys?

Comments (87)
  1. I feel betrayed! You said we’d meet on Tuesday so I didn’t watch it. Darn!

    Most reviews were like that: mixed. Some good parts, others “really offensive”, “exploits all gay stereotypes”… You’ll laugh, you’ll be “ugh?”. Much like Borat.

  2. everysingletime  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +5

    I went into this movie expecting to laugh as well as to be confronted by a series of objectional and offensive things. Bruno gave me both, so I walked out happy. The one thing that really surprised me was how much penis was in this movie! Did it really have to start talking to me?

    I wish I could have left with some profound insight about homophobia in America, but I pretty much got my 7 dollars worth.

  3. Agreed, completely, I cam out thinking it was funny, but that I also felt a bit guilty about some of it too, and yeah I felt pretty bad for Ron Paul, which is not something I expected to feel. A lot of great parts though.

  4. AO Scott has problems of his own. i saw that opening scene between Bruno and his assistant as Cohen pushing the boundaries of comedy. nothing more. was he cringing or laughing during those scenes?

    my review: it blew away all of my mild expectations !! (after having seen Borat, you can’t believe Cohen can surprise you anymore.) seriously. i have never wiped away so many Fun Tears in an 83-minute span. FUN.

  5. MY ISSUE is that this is a film that has baked a cake and wants to eat it too. LIKE THE SEX SCENE YOU MENTIONED. I cannot believe it’s some METABULLSHIT. It’s supposed to be funny because it’s gay. I’M NOT SAYING I BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE. But seriously, that is the way i comes off as: LOL BUTTSECKS. UGH. I do appreciate THOUGH, that I have seen people who literally have SAID this movie is not funny because it is “TOO GAY.” I mean, it probably was UNCOMFERTABLE and whatever, but “too gay?” These are people that fail to realize how homoerotic PRETTY MUCH EVERY “GUY” FILM EVER IS.

    I say we have a videogum POLL and try to figure out WHAT this movie is. A success? A SATIRE? Or a hate crime?

    My vote is on it fueling some hate speech/crime. HIGH FIVE SACHA?

    (FULL DISCLOSURE: I’m not a big Cohen fan. I think his shit worked better ON TV in smaller, edited doses in which the characters could ROTATE. That shit was a lot more CONCISE and FOCUSED where as this EPICVERSION stretches a thin premise pasts its BREAKING POINT.)

    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • So where’s the FUN come from then? From being “supposed” to be grossed out by PENIS? I don’t understand what this movie is TRYING to do if THAT’S THE point.

        • the point is to laugh and enjoy yourself.
          the entire was laughing so hard when i saw this. hysterical laughter. no idea how it plays in Alabama but our audience had massive amounts of fun.

          • I live in TEXAS, DIAPERFACE. I didn’t get what was funny though? If it’s not viewed as some kind of SATIRE, then like at least 60% of the movie is falling into HOMOPHOBIC trappings all on its own. I mean, I can handle fun. Yes, MY NAME IS ROD AND I LIKE TO PARTY, and I laughed at the Hangover even though people thought that was racist and sexist and whatever. The THING WAS was that non of that was the LINCHPIN of the entire premise!

            Granted, a movie like this was NEVER GOING TO WORK 100% (look at ME I should be an analyst), but it could have at least BEEN A BIT MORE POINTED AND INTELLIGENT. Instead, you have scenes that are inserted into scenes of SOMEONE DOING JOKES but in gayface. I mean, if Jamie Kennedy did this film, people would be in an uproar. The movie becomes FUN, I guess, but it’s deriving its FUN from situations that are supposed to be funny and awkward because GAY GUYS are APPARENTLY supposed to be funny and awkward! I DON’T GET IT! A funny joke is funny, why the need TO DRESS IT UP with gayface (is that a THING? I DUNNO).

            I can UNDERSTAND why you might have enjoyed it. I’m not denying YOUR SWEET, SWEET, INNOCENT LAUGHER LIKE A YOUNG CHILD, but I’m just saying that I think at least half (if not more) of the film was coming FROM ENTIRELY THE WRONG PLACE.

          • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

          • Right and I wasn’t saying YOU WERE HOMOPHOBIC. BREATHE. What I mean is that, where you saw it as PUSHING THE BORDERS OF COMEDY (Congrats!) plenty people I know saw it as LAUGHING BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT WATCHING TWO GUYS HAVE SEX WAS RIDICULOUS AND AWKWARD. Maybe this goes with your whole playing TO AN AUDIENCE point, but I think where one person is laughing and having fun, others are just having their homophobia FEEL VALIDATED.

            And, UNFORTUNATELY, I can promise you that comes from statements I have heard. With my ears.

          • You are actually making a little too much sense. Stop it. Stop it. Stop it.

          • I agree with you. I have this argument with my friend about movies all the time (usually sexist ones) and it always goes the same way, she says that the movie wasn’t MEANT to be sexist and the girl in the movie even said something about it! Thats not the POINT. The movie, as it exists outside of the narrative, is sexist, like Bruno, outside of what is happening in the narrative, is most likely homophobic (but I haven’t seen it yet)

          • JL  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +29

            Will at one point the replies wrap around and start moving right-to-left like some kind of comment spiral staircase?

    • everysingletime  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 -9

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

    • everysingletime  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 -24

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

      • Welcome to Videogum. He does that. A lot.

      • Samuel  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +12

        This is great. An American Patriot has become a part of videogum, to the point where people are taking action to defend him. I love how this relationship has developed. Way to go An American Patriot. I don’t think commenters on this site respects anyone who attacks other commenters, but this is something of it’s own and there are more to all the down voting in support of An American Patriot. It was not too long ago everyone was trying to get An American Patriot off this site. Now he is (refraining from using the word ‘patriot’) a loyal member to this site that everyone can respect and enjoy to see again and again. This might be my reason to finally make a membership on this site and become a regular!

        • WELL HELL. Thank ya. It’s been blowing MY MIND as well.

          And I sure as FUCK suggest you get an account and make your comments SOMETHING THAT ARE REAL. Because, while I will FIRST AND FOREMOST FOREVER be an American PATRIOT, I will always be A VIDEOGUM PATRIOT as well.

  6. Agreed. I felt terrible for the hunters, who obviously withstood ridiculous behavior as long as they possibly could. One of the bright spots in the movie for me was the adorable actor who played assistant/love interest Lutz.

  7. it obviously was more of the same as borat, with the show value comedy… and A LOT of people were walking out in my screening… however, it was fucking hilarious i didnt stop laughing but i dont think it will have the same replay value as Borat

    • i can’t believe folks would walk out of this movie — unless you brought your aunt and uncle along and they knew absolutely nothing about the little Dutch boy on the poster with his yellow short-pants.

      folks–what. were. you. expecting?
      i was expecting a flashy caricature that would be outrageous. done and done.

  8. It was Borat, but with a talking penis.

    I think the gay sex scene at the beginning was less about shock and awe, and more about casting the Bruno character as a massive caricature of gay men, and not a normal representation of one (if this wasn’t already painfully obvious).

    For my money, the best laughs seemed to come not when Bruno was pointing out his ‘victims’ homophobia, but when he was revealing the shallowness and utter stupidity of the Hollywood types, like the scene with the stage mothers..

  9. The talking urethra alone was worth the price of admission.

  10. I was expecting a lot more incidental exposing of people’s homophobia and/or general, severe stupidity. When that was happening, it worked really well: the mulleted karate guy comparing gays to terrorists, the of course hilarious gay conversion ministers, the big cage fighting redneck brawl, and so on. But when he wasn’t going for that, I found the results be much less funny and more confusing, like what is the point of this? To confuse and embarass Israelis and Palestinians who naturally don’t know who he is or what is going on? A lot of it was more to do with Bruno’s ridiculousness and desperation, which is fine for characterization and all, but I felt so uncomfortable and unamused when normal people are dragged into looking terrible or stupid just to further that part of the plot. It was the “I’m so OUTRAGEOUS” bits that had no satirical meaning that I found least entertaining.
    Charity PR people who want to make bracelets out of extinct animals: fair target. The hotel workers who were supposed to unlock him and Lutz: what the hell? They were very nice people and naturally disturbed by weird sex things and kangaroo mice in their hotel. And when they were on the bus like that? Or Paula Abdul? The psychic who had to watch him mime rim jobbing Milli? That made me more :( than anything.

  11. What I liked about Bruno on da Ali G show was his ruthlessness and abuse towards the fashion industry; exposing people for being vapid morons who don?t think for themselves and have ridiculous notions about their place in the world. He also went after homophobes, but the style was the same as the fashoinistas: baiting them to trap themselves into a web of idiocy and prejudice.

    The film did not do this nearly enough, instead it was more interested in exposing homophobia via vulgar shock value and this is why I left the theater disappointed. Borat stayed true to the formula that made it great on TV. I wish Bruno had, too.

    • To be fair to Cohen, I’m pretty sure he had to ditch that concept after the Milan incident. His being banned from all fashion events seemed like a real thing.

      • I see your point, and I agree it was probably next to impossible to continue the Bruno schtick within the fashion industry. But he was able to get away with the same types of interview bating with various people in the movie- the pr women, that reality tv chick, the parents of the showbiz kids. The Richard Bey show was awesome. I wanted to see more of that and less of the explicit sex stuff. It probably didn?t help that I saw the movie with my mom though!

  12. I really did not like it. And not because I didn’t laugh a lot. Because I did. Many laughs were had, as well as many hands covering my faces because the uncomfortableness was almost painful to watch.

    The problem for me largely stems from the fact that I never really knew what this movie was really about. Was it about America’s obsession with fame and celebrities; or was it trying to make people uncomfortable with completely over-the-top, in your face homosexuality that would probably make even the gayest of gays uncomfortable; or was it just to laugh at a completely over-the-top caricature of homosexuality that still prevails in much of America?

    It just didn’t stick with me, and by the time I left the theater I just felt gross. I think Cohen missed the mark on this one and could have done a lot better.

    • Exactly! Bruno’s quest to become famous doesn’t set-up relevant jokes to suit his character. And because there’s no unifying theme, too often Bruno becomes a series of Candid Camera-type pranks which are annoying and caused me to sympathize too often with the targets (like Ron Paul, for instance) and to dislike Bruno. I hate the part in Borat when he starts flailing around in the antique store breaking stuff for no reason. Bruno is loaded with that type of humor.

  13. My problem with their whole approach is they get people to sign releases beforehand by basically lying through their fucking teeth about the nature and purpose of the shoot. http://www.andrewtobias.com/newcolumns/061113.html

    So yeah, conflicted.

  14. GLAAD posted their response over the weekend.


    It was kind of what I expected them to say. It’s dissapointing to find out that that the movie didn’t work out the more problematic social issues. I really wanted it to not fall into unintentionally homophobic trappings.

  15. Cohen set out to satirize two things about Americans: our obsession with celebrity and our intolerance to homosexuality.
    The celebrity part, he absolutely nailed, no question. The homophobic part…I have been trying to figure out all weekend. In fact, I could not wait for the the VMC comments, to see what other like-minded people thought about it.
    Glad to see I’m not alone.

  16. I’ve got a question: In the beginning they showed Bruno doing his Funkyzeit show and he said that autism is in and then he said something else is out. I was laughing so hard @ autism I missed what was out. Somebody please fill me in.

  17. jatie  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +24

    with borat, a lot of the purpose was to catch real people being assholes. but i’m not sure that was the point for bruno. i thought it was more like “lets watch normal people try to be civil while bruno acts like an asshole.” the guy who just closed his eyes while bruno sucked milli vanilli ghost dick, for example. and the focus group wasn’t making fun of the people–they video was just really funny. the real-ish people in the movie aren’t there as joke fodder, they’re there to be the public for whom bruno is performing. they’re the straight men (no stupid pun intended). given the fact that sacha baron cohen is a star, he’ll never be able to get what he got on HBO ever again. so the movies are changing, and becoming all about antics. and that’s fine, as long as it’s funny.

  18. I laughed because Cohen attempted some really ballsy stunts. I expected more laughter to arise from the exhibition of pure stupidity on the part of the “victims”.

  19. I Just Blue Myself  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +33

    my question is, after the “the bear ate everything except the condoms” joke, what if the hunter had said sure, come here and cuddle ? would SBC have fucked a redneck just not to break character?

  20. As the resident self-depreciating gay man at Videogum.com, I have to say, I thought Bruno was hilarious. WARNING, lengthy gay perspective of Bruno to follow:
    I live in Canada, but a very conservative chunk of Canada. I’ve been to a gay bar, I don’t know, 5 times in my 26-year life, and had a beer can thrown at my head leaving one time. So I’m going to jump to a scary Fox New-esque conclusion and say, in my city there is a 1 in 5 chance of being hit in the head with a beer can by a passing by car for no reason other than being gay. Also take into consideration I’m very straight-acting… (my boss always buys me titty tequila shots when we are out… but that’s another story)
    But enough back-story… I told that small back-ground because the position “Bruno” puts himself in the movie made me extremely nervous, to the point that I couldn’t even watch the screen. I’ve lived people’s negative beer can throwing reactions to me being gay (and not even a full-blown 10 gay + living in gay-friendlish Canada), and man, as much as I was laughing, I was on the verge of having a panic attack. I wasn’t upset about the gay stereotypes at all – as gay men like Bruno exist – I was more upset that everyone was SO scared of him, and had negative and potentially violent reactions to him. I shouldn’t be scared to by myself in parts of the world… but I really do have to, which is a bummer… but still, I had to laugh… as if you aren’t laughing, they’re winning.

    • PB&J  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +14

      Hey Malkovich, THINK FAST!

    • What city/province do you live in? I’m in Montreal, Quebec. My experience going into the film has been substantially different than yours. Montreal, however, is like the Canadian San Francisco. I’m just curious what area you are from.

    • Oh yeah. Being gay, I can say that the parts that – while funny – made me the most uncomfortable were in fact the parts where he was blatantly exposing people’s homophobia. I know it’s kind of the “point” or Bruno in a lot of ways but hearing and seeing people who aren’t necessarily crazy religious nuts react in such a homophobic way when Bruno wasn’t even provoking them much (the karate guy, the people at the wrestling show) kind of made me :(

      We want Bruno to be this biting truth-exposing satire but sometimes we’d kind or rather not know the truth.

      • the biggest :( for me was on the Richard Bey show. he hadn’t yet brought the kid out or said anything obnoxious, just that he wanted a boyfriend and they all booed him. i think if any of those people had been one on one with him, they would’ve kept their mouth shut. but with a large group of people, it’s more acceptable to act like total douchebags. the ring match was another great example of that.

    • i was wondering what area too. i live in a city pretty close to Toronto and the audience seemed to be laughing for the right reasons with no one being audibly disgusted or walking out (that i’m aware of). having said that, i realize homophobia exists throughout canada even in the metropolitan areas.

  21. I give it 4 talking meat swings out of 5 talking meat swings.

  22. I thought about going to see Bruno this weekend. Then I stayed home and watched Comedians of Comedy instead. Yeah, I don’t regret that decision one bit.

  23. I liked the movie a lot. But I think it’s telling that the best line came from the minister who refused to marry them:
    “Are you saying that the two of you made this baby? I don’t know why I just asked that question.”

    • I couldn’t agree with you more. At the showing I went to, I was in hysterics at that part, and it seemed like just about everyone else was quiet. I left really unsure as to whether everyone else missed the joke, or if I had.

  24. I managed to find myself watching the movie with my mom, dad, and 15 year old sister (who has seen many an R rated film). My mom left right after the butt sex (which was what, 10 minutes into the movie?) and my sister forced the rest of us out after being “scarred for life” by the dancing penis in the TV promo thing. I’ll probably try to see it again because some parts were pretty funny, but from what I saw it was too much trying to shock the audience by being super super dirty and not enough mocking of the stupid.

  25. ian g  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 -36

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see

  26. Bruno could have been much, much better. And it has been — a lot — in almost every single segment on Da Ali G Show. This movie, while being funny indeed, failed to achieve anything like the culturally transcendent madness in the HBO segments.

    The reason is, Sacha Baron Cohen has gone Hollywood. There was not enough interaction with average people and bigots — too many clearly staged hijinks, such as the Ron Paul bit, such as the clearly or at least partly-fake “Swingers Party.” With a bigger budget and, probably, a bigger ego, this movie was about coming up with things they “knew” would be funny, and then hiring actors, setting up elaborate sets, etc, to make them happen, rather than just letting whatever happen naturally.

    The best parts were all organic, non-staged interactions with real people, which is where Borat triumphs, and where Bruno comes up short — and the cultural relevance suffers GREATLY because of it. That said, the greatest and most culturally relevant moment of all was entirely staged — the gay fight in the MMA ring in Alabama.

    Still — too much fake! We don’t laugh at fake trying to be real! This is why reality shows are never, ever, ever funny! No matter how ‘entertaining’ they are in other respects.

  27. Like marktron, I’m a gay dude too, and thought it was hilarious. I was actually a little queasy afterward from laughing so much. Lutz was totally adorable, and I would have risked getting pelted with SundaySundaySunday Miller Lites too to make out with him in a wrestling ring too. The only thing that has offended me in this whole thing has been GLAAD’s depressing but-what-if-people-like-it-for-the-wrong-reasons bullshit. Cohen makes it very very difficult to sit through the movie if you’re just there to fag-bash. Enjoy that hypnotic swinging dick closeup, y’all!

    • “Enjoy that hypnotic swinging dick closeup, y’all!”

      It’s called meat spin. Google it but not when you’re at work.

      Also, I loved it when Bruno called the cop with the mustache Paul Blart.

  28. sandy sicko  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +5

    The film’s not out yet in France, but coming home from work tonight I saw a HUGE new poster for it in the metro, with Bruno naked in a field of flowers. Is that same poster out in the US? Because, oh là là, guys! So much fleshy man-thigh!

    Also, whenever I read internet articles about autism, Dr Simon Baron Cohen is always cited. He’s related to Sacha, which makes me assume guy comes from a family of academics, and that he considers his films an extensive scientific research project. So I conclude that what he’s doing here is SCIENCE (I do not really conclude that fire-extinguisher-sex-movie is SCIENCE.)

  29. I went home and watched the volleyball scene from Top Gun afterwards.

  30. I thought it was LAFFO hilarious, but it was nowhere near Borat. Its style of comedy was a lot more “Hey, let’s have ridiculous gay sex and try to act like the negative reactions we get are homophobia!” than “Let’s be subtle in exposing these peoples’ flaws”.

  31. RunBMC  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 0

    Saw this late, late Friday night in Hollywood (sold out, no walk outs that I noticed) and found it very funny, but a little lacking (and wow, short!). My favorite bit was the lead-up to the “gay cleansing” segment where he realizes that John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Kevin Spacey are super-successful celebrities becasue they are . . . straight! Brilliant, though I wish he had gone the Scientology Celebrity Centre route instead (or as well).

    I think all of the nudity and extreme sexual stuff was probably the result of the naked wrestling scene in BORAT. That generally seems to be considered the funniest/most shocking part of that movie – so I am guessing they decided to give us more. And I say thank you.

  32. Jojo  |   Posted on Jul 13th, 2009 +6

    Wake up y’all, this movie actually wasn’t gay enough. First off there were NO other actual gay characters save a celebrity cameo in the very end. It would have been a lot funnier, more interesting, and daring if Bruno actually tried to interact or blend in with the gay com.You always knew he really wasn’t a gay man at all which takes a lot of the sting/power out of the scenes. Also, this is an EXACT carbon copy of Borat basically, bizarre obnoxious foreigner with a long suffering assistant. A lot of the jokes were STALE. Celebrity culture is an EASY TARGET and been attacked and skewered to death, this adds nothing new to the debate. Homophobia is somewhat addressed but its also not given that Bruno basically acts like a deranged foreigner from another planet. If they really wanted to tackle homophobia why not isolate it completely and remove the foreign aspect which muddies the waters of clarity.

    • ModernMANdroid  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 -1

      I haven’t seen the whole film yet, but these are some of the best points I’ve heard on this (or other BRUNO discussions) thread.
      I’m a little surprised to hear that there are no other gay people/characters in the film. Odd

  33. Apart from the harmless LOLs (Hitler photo shoot), I ultimately found the movie to be a little misguided. As a morally conscious adult, I could seperate myself from some of the dilemmas and just enjoy the show, but I did feel bad for Ron Paul and the redneck hunters because we were pretty much looking at a form of sexual assault. I mean, the Ron Paul scene wouldn’t be remotely funny to anyone if the victim were a woman. So, yeah, creepy.

    This article might be of some interest to you guys:

  34. I enjoyed the movie a lot. However, I don’t feel like I can make an adequate judgment on the film until I see the unrated/directors cut version on DVD. Aside from the LaToya Jackson scene there were other scenes that had to be cut otherwise it would’ve garnered a NC-17 rating. So for me, it is kind of wait and see situation before I can offer a final decision.

  35. I hurt from laughing. I found it very funny. But I’ll need some time before I start delving into analytically thinking about what it “means”. I will say that it had less impact than Borat did when I first saw it.

  36. Workin’ on yer stroke.

  37. I went to see it Friday night, and on Saturday a friend asked me how it was. I just said, “I don’t know.” ‘Cause I don’t. I mean, it was funny. It was definitely funny, but at the end I was just like, “Why am I here? What just happened? What was point of that?” I guess I felt it was lacking in motivation. It felt a little empty to me.

    I think my feelings about the whole film were very nicely represented by the chaos of the cage match. I loved the Lutz and Bruno thing; I probably could have just watched a movie about their story. I thought the cage match was a beautiful moment in their relationship, and it just made me sad that the moment had to happen while they were getting food and furniture hurled at them. Maybe that was the point. I don’t know. I definitely need to see it again, without the element of surprise, and then I’ll figure out what I think.

  38. Steve McQueen  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 +3

    The prank on Ron Paul was lame, especially since Ron Paul is cool with gay people. His campaign chairman, the late Kent Snyder, was a gay man. And Paul has stood up for gays’ rights to marry. If I was 74 years old and some stranger lured me into a hotel room and dropped his pants, I might call him a queer too.

  39. brandon  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 0

    sorry to ruin it for y’all but i just checked the ol’ videogum this morning and this post had 69 comments. COME ON

  40. GabeFAN  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 -2

    I agree! I don’t know how to feel either! I mean I enjoyed lots of the movie, but then I know that the politically correct blogosphere doesn’t want me to laugh at any social group! I know that I’m supposed to let them tell what is funny and what isn’t, so… I’m just so CONFUSED!!


    I love when hometowns are referenced. As in, that theater marquee is from the Guide 45 in Seattle, which always has pun-tastic signage.

    I live right near it and see movies there. Which warrants a post about it.

    Oh and I might see Bruno at some point.

  42. Universal Healthcare  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 -3

    Um, Ron Paul is my enemy. As well as immigrants and people who like roads. He’s basically a hateful conservative hidden behind flanks of young kids who decided that the way to save the world is for rich people to not have to pay taxes. They’re the hippie commies of today. Ron Paul doesn’t get nearly enough bashing. Cohen is ahead of his time with this.

    • Public Sanitation  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 +1

      Frick, I knew I’d mess that up. I meant that Ron Paul is the enemy of immigrants and people who like roads (and roads themselves). I figure I’d clear that up before the invisible hand of the market got to it. Liberty works best, folks!

    • Steve McQueen  |   Posted on Jul 14th, 2009 +1

      I’m not going to get into a big economics discussion on Videogum, but just please read Henry Hazlitt’s book “Economics in One Lesson.” And please learn the Austrian Theory of the Business Cycle. I’m not saying you have to agree with it, but at least give it a fair hearing. Thomas Woods explains it succinctly in Chapter 4 of his book “Meltdown,” which you could read in a few minutes at Barnes & Noble. Thanks, peace and freedom FTW.

  43. if Tom Green was gay, this would basically have been a film adaptation of his old show.

  44. As a gay guy in Texas, I feel like I should care a lot more about whether or not this movie’s homophobic/homophobia-inducing…but I don’t. I only ever took Sacha Baron Cohen’s comedy at face value (outrageous being, wether Bruno, Borat, or Ali G, meets “normal” person, hilarity ensues) rather than diving for some deeper meaning. I agree that Bruno seemed to have less of a point than Borat, but in quantifiable terms, Bruno had me laughing more and cringing less (Paula Abdul SAT ON A MEXICAN, YOU GUYS!!!) than any of his other skits do.

  45. ThRobert  |   Posted on Jul 15th, 2009 -2

    i havent seen it but i think ur all diggin too deep in shallow waters.

    it is a comedy…..all it should make u do is laugh. if u had a genuine decent laugh more than 5 times than this movie is better than most comedies. a moral is nice but not necessary.

  46. Steve Sanders  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 0

    Yeah, but a moral is intended.

  47. megakei  |   Posted on Jul 18th, 2009 +1

    Bruno The Movie: keep it or abort it?

  48. amy  |   Posted on Jul 20th, 2009 0

    I thought the movie was hilarious and yes, some of the jokes maybe fell flat but I don’t see it as an issue of being offensive. It’s no any different than a Ricky Gervais movie crossed with candid camera, where people are put in absurd situations and made to feel uncomfortable, with interesting responses. He put in a lot of effort to get the situations created and I’ll give him respect for that alone even if some of the things he tried didn’t work as well as others.

  49. I absolutely loved the part where Paula Abdul sat on the Hispanic guys and then talked about how she was all about helping people. That was hysterical! But the end was really enlightening. It’s frightening how much intolerance and ignorance so many people can harbor. I’m glad they were in a cage because they both would have been beat to death I’m sure. It was truly disgusting. So kudos to Sacha for bringing this issue to light.
    Oh and that real-life girl who said Jamie Lynn Spear’s baby should be aborted because it would prolly be retarded…OMG…hysterical!
    And I loved the way this movie highlighted the discrimination held by the Religious/conservative Right for homosexuals.
    Oh, I could have done without the five minute Sacha-penis montage…haha
    But other than that…I enjoyed it.

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