Tuesday 14 July 2009


You may think that, as a classics-obsessed, Dante-touting publisher, I might have a problem forking out a tenner to go and see Sacha Baron Cohen’s latest movie. You are absolutely right. Let’s put this straight: not even wild horses could drag me, in normal circumstances, to an Odeon cinema on a Sunday night. Give me Kanye West and Lady Gaga any time, but please don’t ask me to sit among a horde of popcorn-crunching, Pepsi-Cola slurping eighteen- and nineteen-year-olds and be subjected to the humiliation of watching a film like Brüno.

Having said that, a couple of friends invited me and Elisabetta to the cinema, and we happily obliged – it would have been rude to say no.

I had heard that the film trespassed a few boundaries, but to see the younger generation (sigh!) gulping down the breaking of every imaginable taboo and laughing heartily at it was as much of a shock to me as the movie itself. My first thought was that I must be getting old at twice the rate as a couple of years ago.

I’ll openly admit that I didn’t think it was completely crap, and also that I laughed out loud at some of the clownish bits, but I think good satire should remain above its subject, and I felt that Brüno was always, consistently, well below good taste. So it gets my thumbs-down, for what it's worth.



  1. Indeed... I felt the same way about "Borat," and when the raves were universal I felt as though I'd stepped into some kind of generational taste-warp. I don't mind crassness when it's both funny and subordinated to other aesthetic elements: I find a lot to admire, say, in at least some of the films of Russ Meyer (not to mention Rabelais). But current cinematic comedy-- at least those that are aimed at the teenage market-- treats crassness as though it's identical with humor. It's not.


We welcome your comments, feel free to leave a message below.