Friday, November 03, 2006
All Hail Borat!
Hollywood pundits may focus on the buzz factor surrounding “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” the hilarious feature film based on British comic Sacha Baron Cohen’s (pictured above at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival) popular character, Kazakh TV reporter Borat Sagdiyev. “Borat,” about the crazy Kazakh man’s travels throughout America and goal to meet his dream woman, Pamela Anderson, is a hit on the Internet. The key pundit question prior to the film’s opening today is whether these young “Borat” devotees will buy theater tickets in sizable numbers. Will “Borat” be the new “Jackass 2,” meaning a gross-out comedy hit? The more pessimistic possibility is that “Borat” will sink like another movie with tons of Internet buzz, a recent horror movie featuring Samuel. L. Jackson battling snakes on a plane. But what grabs my attention like Borat clad in a clownish swimsuit, an elongated thong that barely holds his privates in check, are critical reviews as enthusiastic as any Internet posting by Borat’s army of young fans. Not since past gross-out hits “American Pie” or “There’s Something About Mary” has a rowdy comedy appealed to young and old, the serious film buff and the college frat boy, high and unapologetic lowbrow followers of culture. It’s encouraging proof that when politically incorrect comedy is done well, and Cohen performs his improvisational bits with goofball perfection, the result is overwhelming, belly-aching laughter for all.