Quondam Dreams

Monday, November 13, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings Of The San Fernando Valley

Warning: This post contains spoilers. They're probably nothing you haven't already read or heard, but if you're super-sensitive... well, if you're super-sensitive, you probably won't be seeing this movie. But anyway: Spoilers.

This weekend, I caught a late-afternoon showing of Borat in Northridge. At one point, several people walked out.

This did not happen when Borat said anything racist, sexist, antisemitic, or anything-phobic. Of course not: Everyone knew that was coming. That's kind of the point of Borat -- that he's putting it out there to see how people react. For all his commitment to the character of Borat, we know Sacha Baron Cohen doesn't actually believe what Borat says. We're all too self-congratulatingly smart for that.

No, the thing that prompted people to walk out? Naked men wrestling.

If they'd hung around for another couple of minutes, I might have understood their disgust. I might not have shared it, but I could have seen where some people might be offended by the latter part of the scene. But, no: fellow audience members people walked out after about twenty seconds of good, clean, can't-even-see-any-naughty-bits naked wrestling between two none-too-attractive guys. They didn't even stick around for the really homoerotic parts. The fact that there were a couple of naked guys, like, touching each other was enough to send them running.

I guess it's one thing to laugh at other people's prejudices, but it's entirely another to come face-to-butt with your own.


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