Bruno’s marketing team has worked overtime in stirring up controversy on both sides of the Atlantic. Their efforts have certainly paid off ever since the first movie trailer attracted millions of hits and the over the top photo-ops at the London premier last month, where Bruno (Sacha Baron Cohen) paraded in “gay” military costumes and stroke “gay” poses. I expect the film and its aggressive PR to fill LGBT textbooks about gay identity and the heterosexual gaze. I commented last week that I was a fan of the original Bruno from Cohen’s UK series and I’m looking forward to the 2009 incarnation, despite some of the LGBT backlash the film has attained.
The film introduces us to Bruno as the Austrian star of a European TV fashion show. After crashing a runway presentation he is blacklisted in Euro Trash land and moves to Los Angeles to find fame and fortune. The film charts Bruno getting into all kinds of mischief as he launches a Hollywood celebrity show, his adoption of a black baby and subsequent appearance on a Jerry Springer-type audience participation show, and his goading of a blue-collar Arkansas crowd into a hate frenzy at a cage wrestling show.
Whichever audience Bruno is trying to attract, the proof is in the viewing and I hope that Bruno is just an outrageous and uniquely British comedy that manages to insult everyone. That’s my kind of fun.