Controversy, nothing new to Sacha Baron Cohen, is closing in on Brüno as quickly as “savages” surrounded covered wagons in old Westerns. Universal Pictures' comedy Brüno, starring Cohen as a flamboyantly gay fashion journalist from Austria, is set for general release July 10, according to a review in the New York Times.
The hullabaloo boils down to the fear that “certain viewers” (i.e. straight guys) won’t understand the joke is on them and they’ll leave the theater with their homophobia validated. “Some people in our community may like this movie, but many are not going to be okay with it,” said Rashad Robinson, senior director for GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). “Sacha Baron Cohen’s well-meaning attempt at satire is problematic in many places and outright offensive in others.”
A rare "straight" photo of Sacha Baron Cohen
Not every gay spokesperson agrees, however. Aaron Hickland, Out magazine editor, intends to put Brüno on the August cover. “The movie does something hugely important, which is show that people’s attitudes can turn on a dime when they realize you’re gay,” Mr. Hickland said. “The multiplex crowd wouldn’t normally sit down for a two-hour lecture on homophobia, but that’s exactly what’s going to happen. I’m excited about that.” Here’s a link to the complete New York Times “review.”
Photo of Bruno at the beginning of the 2009 MTV Movie Awards show
Brüno is an off-color comedy about a dim-witted gay guy who embraces sexism, racism, and stereotypes as he nonchalantly goes on with his life. Cohan’s trademark real, unrehearsed confrontations are the mainstay of the movie.
Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G photo
Borat (which was about an anti-Semitic Kazakh journalist) and Brüno are both familiar to fans of Da Ali G Show, Cohen’s satirical talk show, which first played in England in 2000 and later on HBO in 2003.
Photo of Bruno holding a dildo in The Bruno Movie
The Brüno official subtitle is, “Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt.”
Photo of the hilarious scene from Borat when Cohen wore a "mankini" thong
Universal is banking on the success of Cohen’s previous endeavors. Borat cost $18,000,000 and brought in $262,000,000. The studio has shown unfinished versions of Brüno to GLAAD and reported that viewers have come away with a clear understanding of the film’s positive social message. Unfortunately, I haven’t been part of that test audience, but my guess is the film will be ridiculous, meaningful, and hilarious, three of my favorite things. I can’t wait!
Photo of ad for Bruno's Mein Facebook page
Check out the movie’s Mein Facebook page for fun stuff and the official Brüno website, where you’ll read weird stories and see strange videos like this one: “Paula Abdul talks about how she accepted an invite last year to receive an award as ‘Austrian and German Entertainer of the Year,’ and when she arrived at a Hollywood Hills mansion, she was met by a crazy guy that was dressed like Capt. Nemo, who offered her a seat atop a pair of Mexican gardeners.”
Photo of fetish scene from The Bruno Movie
Wistv.com reports the following unbelievable news: Rusty DePass, an aide to South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster, talked about Friday morning's gorilla escape at Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo on a Facebook post (since deleted), with this comment, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors—probably harmless." DePass confirmed to WIS News 10 he was talking about First Lady Michelle Obama. Longtime state GOP activist and former state Senate candidate, Rusty DePass later apologized, as did nearly every Republican in the state, even though DePass said the comment was “clearly in jest.” Yeah, you just can’t beat that good old boy South Carolina Republican sense of humor! Sad how some things never change! Read the whole story here.