1. Brüno (Universal, 2,755 Theaters, 83 Minutes, Rated R): I know I’m in the minority here, but I hated Borat. Almost every person I knew thought it was hilarious. But the film just irritated the hell out of me.
I hated it on two levels. First, I really don’t find intentional humiliation comedy funny. Sasha Baron Cohen’s “Candid Camera” like jabs where he would make fun of unsuspecting people was obnoxious. Yes, they were rednecks and bigots, but still.
I also was not a fan of his parodying anti-semitism by becoming an anti-semite. Only because in his dedication to staying in character blunted the impact of the message he was trying to preach. Satire should be poking fun at things in us we should change. That satire was lost because Cohen refused to let the audience in on the joke.
This film seems more of the same, on with homophobia replacing anti-semitism. But the satire won’t broaden any horizons or open any minds and people will still be made to look the fool. Neither makes an appealling film for me.
2. I Love You, Beth Cooper (FOX, 1, 858 Theaters, 102 Minutes, Rated PG-13): If you had the undivided attention of a large group of people, and you used this forum to profess your love for a member of the audience, what do you think would result? Mock and ridicule? Extreme taunting? A restraining order?
Well, for the hero of this film, it results in a night of adventure with the girl of his dreams. In other words, something that could never happen in real life.
Remember when Chris Columbus was talked about as the next Steven Spielberg? Yeah, that turned out well, because he’s helming this novel adaptation that is quasi-buried in the flood of summer movies.
Yeah, I’m not really excited about this movie. I’ve been around the comic convention circuit long enough to not become a fan of Hayden Panettiere. And really, Paul Rust is not the first 28 year-old who is playing 10 years younger than he really is, but he is the first one who looks 20 years older than he’s supposed to be playing.