Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jason watches BRÜNO

And it's funny, at times very funny. And at times shocking. At least, for a wide release "mainstream" movies it pushes the limits of taste far beyond anything that came before.

A lot of the gay-panic shock scenes are actually the least interesting scenes in the movie. So he has an exercise bike rigged to a dildo. So he pours champagne out of his pygmy lover's ass. Yeah, it's shocking, but there's nothing else than shock, and so it was sort of ho-hum (except for the reactions in the theater, those were pretty funny).

When he has ordinary people react to him, that's when it's the funniest, and it works much better as a mockery of celebrity obsession than as gay panic. His attempted seduction of Ron Paul is more painful than funny (the only joke is Brüno thought he was Ru Paul), but the reason behind it--he thought a sex tape would make him famous--is hilarious. Same for his attempt at bringing peace to the Mideast (although he does get representatives of both sides to at least touch hands, in an oddly beautiful scene). His attempts to become straight (motivated by the realization that all the biggest stars like Tom Cruise and Kevin Spacey are straight) is pretty funny, and give him some of the best opportunities to play with homophobic reactions (although again, the reactions are usually funnier than his stunts). There is an excellent climactic scene which I won't spoil other than to say he whips a crowd into an anti-gay frenzy. But then he caps the movie with a celebrity send-up charity video "Brüno, Dove of Peace", reminding us once again that the celebrity satire parts are funnier than the gay panic. Snoop Dogg says it best ending the video with "Hey, Hey/ He's gay, He's gay /[shrug] Okay"

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