In and of himself, actor/co-writer Sacha Baron Cohen’s flamingly gay, Euro trash fashionista character could have likely carried this movie by himself. But, to me, what raises it to the level of inspired, original comedy is that so many people take Cohen’s outlandishly preposterous alter ego/creation so seriously. The plot’s catalyst is the title character’s expulsion from the European fashion scene after an all-Velcro outfit causes a runway disaster. Along with the slapstick humor is the inclusion of near brilliant satire where the real outfits look as goofy as Cohen’s (BORAT) comic creation. More parody ensues when the undeterred designer sets out for Los Angeles to become “the biggest Austrian superstar since Hitler.” There, the entertainment industry gets skewered in hilarious sequences involving a bewildered psychic, a focus group watching a television pilot “worse than cancer” and parents of babies perfectly willing for their infants to “work around bees, hornets and wasps” or “strapped to a cross” in order to get them cast into a commercial. Cohen’s subversive wit also puts himself at risk of bodily harm with a group of homophobic hunters, some rural swingers in Alabama and a mixed martial arts crowd in Arkansas who go collectively viral when Cohen’s gay-bashing character named Straight Dave winds up “getting busy” in the Octagon with another guy in the crowd who’s actually his loyal, put-upon assistant (Gustaf Hammersten). Having said all this, I can’t recommend this very R-rated movie to anyone offended by graphic, strong sexual content (Southern Baptists who actually go to the movies now won’t last 10 minutes in this one. Anything goes with Episcopalians so all of you will probably be okay). As for me, I laughed to the point of nearly rupturing myself at this brutally audacious and funny work that’s uniquely Cohen’s.
CURRENT AND NEW DVDs THAT I RECOMMEND: CADILLAC RECORDS, CHOKE, DEFIANCE, DOUBT, GRAN TORINO, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, WALTZ WITH BASHIR, WATCHMEN