title: BRUNO
year: 2009
cast: Sacha Baron Cohen
rating: ***

Putting aside the fact that every situation is contrived, and all the "participants" are obviously in on the joke, this is actually a funny movie about a gay Austrian wannabe fashionista's odyssey to become not just famous, but VERY famous. He does just about anything it takes, including becoming straight, for this seemingly impossible goal, and while the situations aren't always hilarious they are entertaining, and throughout the "skits", some of which are jabs at celebrities, like adopting a black child for publicity, and religion, like meeting with pastors who "make men straight", there is an actual love story that, bizarre as it seems in the buildup, becomes the very thing that bookmarks the film into something that feels legit despite the platform of setup, strikingly bogus interviews and confrontations. Just forget it's trying to seem real and you'll find yourself addicted to the main character's "stranger in a straight land" dilemma. The real humor lies in our hero Bruno's stubborn drive to keep his hectically flamboyant focus intact despite it working against him.

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