Let me start out by saying was prepared to dislike it. I was prepared to dislike it the way I dislike fish and mushrooms, trying on clothes and the sound of George Bush’s voice. I was told it was either a love it or hate it sort of thing, but that the general buzz was positive. So positive, it had been recognized by a panel of its peers. The negative buzz was due to its in-your-face quality. Not a quality I generally like in anything. It’s a quality I usually associate with really obnoxious things, like the Bill O’Reilley show and World Wide Wrestling.Yet I felt compelled to try it, on the off chance it would be fun. There are lots of things I thought I wouldn’t like, but ended up enjoying a lot. Like skiing. And dog ownership. And avocadoes. There are even a few in-your-face things I ended up liking such as South Park and those Japanese restaurants where they flip food into your mouth.Even my brother said I probably wouldn’t like it.So it was with some trepidation that I fired up the DVD player this weekend to watch Borat. Ken and I started laughing from the first scene, and we pretty much didn’t stop laughing the entire movie. It was surprisingly funny.
Maybe it was the fact that I used to be married to an immigrant from a thirld world country and I recognized those totally un-self aware mannerisms that some immigrants hang onto like grim death. Things like incorrect sentence structure and an antiquated belief in old-world superstitions. When Borat commented that he had brought a vial of gypsy tears with him to America to ward off evil spirits, I thought I was going to lose it. My ex also brought little talismans and good luck charms to this country with him – which were prominently displayed in our home – even though they never did seem to bring much good luck. And the scene where Borat is washing his underwear in the pond in Central Park was especially poignant for me – having witnessed that sort of thing frequently in my ex’s birth country.
There were a lot of things I liked about Borat. However, some of the people he apparently duped into appearing in this “documentary” are not amused and there are several lawsuits pending against Sasha Baron Cohen, including one which accuses him of slander and inciting violence against a couple of gypsy groups. Oh grow up.
This bleeding-heart liberal older gal got a lot of much-needed laughs from this movie. Maybe you will too.