Posted on 6/19/13 10:13 PM
It's almost a disservice to Sacha Baron Cohen's "Bruno" that his "Borat" was such a success. It's a slightly larger disservice to "Bruno" that "Borat" came out three years earlier. "Bruno" isn't just shockingly funny, it isn't just culturally/socially relevant, it's also perhaps the bravest performance ever given by a comedic actor.
There is fine line between comedy that is reactionary and comedy that is scripted. "Bruno" walks the line of being both thereby being neither. The message is so so simple; sure Americans are okay with homosexuality, as long as we don't have to confront it or acknowledge that it exists.
My hope is that in twenty years when we revisit this gem we'll all laugh at how misanthropic we all were where sexual equality was concerned. This film was made several years before the majority of Americans approved of same-sex marriage. In 2009 the president was still rather ambivalent on the subject (publically that is). "Bruno" is essentially the hyperbolic-German speaking mirror held up to our collective subconscious. Sure, it's easy to say that his foils only represent the most extremely conservative populous in the country. That his actions were obnoxious, whether he be gay or straight. That he shoved his lifestyle into situations that didn't have the cognizance to assess the situation properly. All potentially true. He undoubtedly did however manage to get a presidential candidate to shout homophobic epithets on camera, get a major T.V. personality to sit on a minority while preaching about charity, and con a crowd frothing at the mouth to witness human carnage to cringe when two men embraced in a sexual manner. Our perspective needed to be re-adjusted, and while this may not have the omnipresence Sacha Baron Cohen thought it would, it still is an important film in-so-far as that it accomplished its two main goals: it made the viewer question their stance on civil rights...and it was brutally and savagely funny.