Wednesday, January 10, 2007


So, I finally saw Borat this weekend. And I laughed. I laughed a lot. But I also felt like I had already seen the entire movie.

I've already seen clips of, or heard or read descriptions of, pretty much every scene in the movie:

--The opening in Kazakhstan, where Borat lustily kisses his sister, the "#4 prostitute" in the country, and shows us the annual Running of the Jew
--Chasing people in New York and trying to kiss them
--Trying to buy a gun good for killing Jews
--Trying to buy a car good for killing Gypsys
--The driving instructor bit
--Singing at the rodeo
--Insulting the group of feminists
--Learning how to speak and dress from the black youths
--Offering money to the cockroaches, believing they are shape-changing Jews
--Bringing a bag of shit to the high society dinner
--Bringing a hooker to the high society dinner
--The naked wrestling match with his producer
--Getting the drunken frat boys to make racist comments
--The born again Christian rally
--Trying to catch Pamela Anderson in a sack

...and so on. I felt like I had read a transcript of the movie before I even watched it, which diminished its humor throughout.

Despite that, it was still very funny. The naked wrestling match, especially -- that's one of the most hilarious things I've seen in any movie, ever. I was laughing until it hurt, and then laughing some more. And Sacha Baron Cohen's insane dedication to the role of Borat is constantly amazing and amusing.

But I'm not leaping on the bandwagon to call it the greatest comedy ever. In fact, I don't think it was the funniest comedy released in 2006 starring Sacha Baron Cohen. (For me, that would be Talladega Nights.) It was tremendously worthwhile, and I'm glad I finally saw it, having avoided it for so long due primarily to my discomfort with the comedy of humiliation that Borat traffics in. Knowing so much about it in advance probably helped me not to cringe away from some of the most excruciating bits. So yes, I'd recommend the film to anyone -- anyone with a strong constitution.

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