I didn’t see it, have no desire to see it, and cannot for the life of me figure out what all the hype is about.
The “funniest movie ever made”? What are they talking about? The trailers aren’t even funny.
Proves once again that if you spend enough money on advertising, you can convince people that the emperor has new clothes.
His cousin is Simon Baron-Cohen, a prominent autism researcher whose theories tend to be equally provocative (such as his “extreme male brain” theory of autism).
Here’s why I didn’t like it, more specifically:
1. About 1/2 of it seems to be broad physical humor– potty jokes and naked men fighting but coming perilously close to inadvertently having sex.
2. The ethnic “jokes” are really crude, and vicious– especially the anti-Semitic ones. I realize the comic is actually a devout Jew, but I don’t think that excuses it. So are the jokes about Arabs and other Middle Easterners.
3. David Brooks said that the reason this movie succeeds is that it didn’t call into question the prevailing assumptions of the Starbucks crowd–it made fun of racists, sexists, and anti-Semites (i.e. i assume he means the Red States). I don’t think that’s right. I am a card-carrying member of the Starbucks crowd, and I don’t think that’s right.
I like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert — a lot. And they make fun of people, unknowingly, too. But generally, they make fun of politicians, who ought to know better, and who are used to being in the public eye. Borat makes fun of ordinary people–at rodeos, at Christian charismatic camps. I think it’s mean.
What about Jay Leno, and his “man on the street” interviews? I don’t think they’re mean. He asks people basic questions about American civics that they ought to know, but don’t –stuff that the audience ought to know, but doesn’t too. (Who remembers all the state capitals?) So, in a way, he creates a bond between the hapless interviewee and the audience. Borat doesn’t do that. He asks the audience to help him mock the interviewees.
At any rate, if you want escapism, go see Casino Royale. The previews for that looked great.
I recall when the rodeo scene was treated as a news event. What a pity.
Perhaps I should see “Borat” once, but there is absolutely no way in the world I can take seriously a critic who has placed a superlative on “Borat” that vaults it above and beyond “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”, “Blazing Saddles” and “This Is Spinal Tap” (with “Raising Arizona” being an honorable mention).
As for the offensive humor, it shows how it’s fine to slam rednecks and well-dressed Suthuhnuhs, but I would love to see SBC go after Muslims. The Alabama Dining Society does not issue fatwas.
Ah, the Coen Brothers. I absolutely adore them.
I think Raising Arizona is one of the funniest movies ever made. and I think Fargo is one of the most important movies about morality and human motivation ever made.
And the Big Lebowski: “The Dude Abides.”
My kids, who are in their late teens, saw “Borat” with my wife. I begged off because I had little interest in it, and I got the expected ribbing from my kids about being old-fashioned. Predictably, my kids loved the movie. My wife gave it two big thumbs down, for almost exactly the same reasons Cathleen listed above. Because of the negative press the movie has also received, SBC has abrogated his self-imposed rule of giving interviews only in character, and he has been defending the charges of racism and anti-Semitism by stating that his virulent comments and actions were specifically calculated to draw out the latent racism and anti-Semitism in others. Sounds pretty weak to me.
As to the Coen Brothers’ movies, I haven’t seen “The Big Lebowski,” but I agree that “Raising Arizona” is a very funny movie. It is also one of the quirkiest, and could easily fit in the love-it-or-hate-it category. “Fargo,” though superbly acted and filmed, is one of the most unsettling movies I’ve ever seen, even more so because it was based on real events.
While on the subject of movies, I hope Cathleen doesn’t mind a comment about a topic that is movie-related, or at least movie star-related, i.e., the Tom Cruise/Katie Holmes wedding that dominated this past weekend’s news. Our celebrity culture is way over the top, IMO, and there’s plenty to criticize there, but I’m wondering if anyone else had the same reaction to the wedding that I did–sadness. Cruise and Holmes are adults and have feedom of religion and free will, of course, but I was saddened that they’ve abandoned their cradle Catholicism. Cruise has been a Scientologist for some time, but Holmes, reportedly the product of a devout Catholic home and a Catholic high school, seems to have discarded her Catholicism completely, including agreeing with Cruise that their child will not be baptized in the Catholic Church. I also found it interesting that Cruise chose his “best friend,” David Miscavige, as his best man. Miscavige is the equivalent of the pope in the Church of Scientolgy, and he, too, is a lapsed Catholic. In fact, his parents and siblings also went over to Scientology and several now hold prominent positions in the “religion.” As I said, it’s just sad that the roots of Catholic faith were so shallow in the lives of Cruise, Holmes, and Miscavige.
The claim that Fargo is based on real events is another joke by the Cohens. It’s all fiction.
You’re right. I checked some of the urban legend websites. Well, they sucked me right in, and, if I remember correctly, some movie reviewers when the film first came out. The fact that the movie is entirely fictional makes the Coens even more twisted than I thought they were. ;)