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With: Sacha Baron Cohen, Gustaf Hammarsten, Richard Bey, Paula Abdul, Ron Paul
Written by: Sacha Baron Cohen, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer, Jeff Schaffer, based on a story by Sacha Baron Cohen, Peter Baynham, Anthony Hines, Dan Mazer
Directed by: Larry Charles
MPAA Rating: R for pervasive strong and crude sexual content, graphic nudity and language
Language: German, English with English subtitles
Running Time: 82
Date: 03/19/2013

Brüno (2009)

2 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Fame Whore

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Director Larry Charles and writer/star Sacha Baron Cohen follow up their massive hit Borat with this similar fake documentary. But whereas Borat managed to tap into some shocking, interesting and conflicting social and cultural conditions, Brüno is merely a collection of supposedly shocking jokes about homosexuality and gay sex. The funniest jokes, like the one about Brüno adopting (or rather trading an iPod for) an African-American baby for the publicity, are all shown in the trailer. The story has Brüno (Cohen) getting fired from his job as the host of an Austrian television fashion show, then deciding to come to America to become famous. Of course, his road to fame has nothing to do with talent, but rather showmanship and salesmanship, which is the curse of the 21st century. But Brüno simply celebrates it rather than parodying it. I suppose the film might have worked better with an audience, but on DVD it's a bust. Universal's new release comes with a featurette on "how they did it," plus a collection of deleted, extended and alternate scenes. The menus are presented in "Bruno-speak" and they automatically translate as you roll the pointer over them, but they're very slow.

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