It’s just short of shocking that Sacha Baron Cohen was able to fool as many people as he did in Brüno. The only thing keeping it all from going over the edge is the fact that for the most part, Baron Cohen is in the presence of a whole buncha morons.
Brüno finds the actor inhabiting the role of a gay, Austrian fashion freak who has a bit of a distorted self image. The onset of the film finds the Brüno character at the heights of his relative powers. He’s backstage at fashion shows in the company of what one should assume to be some famous industry folks, but seeing as fashion seems pretty vacuous, it kinda doesn’t matter – well, alright, the models, not the whole thing. How’s that?
After a series of embarrassments, including a trip down the runway, disturbing a procession of models, Brüno is ostracized by the fashion industry. As a result, the character’s midget lover leaves him. Now all that Brüno’s left with is a dumpy assistant, but an assistant that has all the faith in the world in the former star.
Somehow, the pair settle on the idea of going to the States and beginning a career in Hollywood. The one role that Brüno lands, though, is quickly snatched from his clutches as the self-indulgent, would-be actor is a bit too disruptive on set for anyone’s liking. How did none of these tinsel town types not recognize this guy? There should be a good answer, but there’s not.
Subsequent to this failure, Brüno decides that interviewing celebrities is the answer. Unfortunately, seeing as the character has no cache in Hollywoodland, it becomes difficult to finagle any worthy interviews. Paula Abdul shows up, sits on a Mexican (he’s functioning as a stool) and promptly heads out the door. This all happens within the first thirty minutes or so.
With yet another problem – how to pitch a show without any good interviews – Brüno and his sidekick cobble together some odd footage. Harrison Ford cusses the camera out and some reality tv ‘star’ sits around with Brüno as they discuss famous fetuses.
The focus group that’s assembled to assess Brüno’s work isn’t too impressed, but especially discouraged by his dong being waved around – not a good idea when pitching a show. Anyway, despondent, Brüno seeks the advice of various consultants as to how to become famous. There’re some empty headed PR types, but most interestingly are the religious folks who consul the Austrian to find Jesus and give up the gay.
This section of the film is supposed to function as the real tension, mounting towards a climax. Brüno struggles through a night in the wilderness with some yokels who probably should have killed him. He then embarks on some hetero, love making quest culminating in the character’s attendance of a swinger’s party – another place where he should probably been between up by a dude, but just end’s up being whipped by a plastic chested amazon before jumping out of the window.
With this project completed, it’d be safe to venture that Baron Cohen has become too famous to pull another stunt like this off. But we’ll see. He seems to be a creative dude.