America, are you ready for the umlaut?
Sacha Baron Cohen’s full-length skit Brüno lands on our shores today, and like many who have followed SBC’s career from the BBC to HBO to Borat, I’ve snickered along with the clips that have leaked on the internet. I’ve also felt like I’ve already seen the entire film. (Not that this would stop me from viewing the film in the theater. I’m not that much of a jerk.)
What amazes me about Brüno is that the world hasn’t a) tired of his fancy prancing, or b) completely caught onto his shtick yet. From the backlash already spreading on the internet, however, it seems that Bruno might be getting too big for his tiny spandex britches. Here’s a sampling:
From The Daily Camera:
“Bruno is a one-joke character in a one-joke movie, and it’s a joke Baron Cohen beats into the ground. He’s a flamboyantly gay Austrian fashion correspondent who repeatedly shocks people with his flamboyant gayness. The end.
In small doses — on the TV show and at the film’s high-energy start — he can be a hoot. Here, big laughs come intermittently, and the longer “Bruno” drags on, the more apparent it becomes that there’s nothing to him. He’s as vapid as the celebrity culture he’s stridently spoofing — which makes it hard to care about him.”
Anti-defamation groups are already debating whether Brüno‘s graphic humor and portrayal of gay culture does enough to torpedo homophobia.
From The Boston Herald:
“To judge this as a single movie is tough, it’s 90 minutes of single sketches, some of which hit their mark and others miss their mark and hit the community,” said Rashad Robinson of GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). “Is it good for gays? Absolutely not, it’s a mixed bag.”
With reservations, Michael Musto, the gay Village Voice columnist, praised Cohen: “It’s hard to get mad at a movie that makes fun of the closet and promotes two men kissing in public as a wonderfully transgressive act of affection.”
Musto’s problem is with Bruno, a character lacking “real soul” who is “terminally superficial.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that.