Life imitating Borat, even before we saw the movie this afternoon. We dash up to the ticket booth, late for the 5:10 pm showing. “Two, please,” I tell the girl behind the glass.
She looks at me. Sees a grizzled mostly gray guy. She looks at Laurel. Sees a long-haired blonde. “ID, please.”
“What?” Laurel is incredulous.
“ID. I need to see your ID. This is an R-rated movie.”
I started laughing. “Oh, man, thank you. This’ll make my wife’s day. Maybe even the month. She’s over 18, believe me.”
“Okay, but I still need to see an ID.” She wasn’t kidding.
Cool. I was on a date with a teenager. Or at least a gal who looked enough like a teenager, at dusk, after running through the rain, to warrant handing over her driver’s license.
I demanded that the girl look at mine too. Born in 1948. I passed by a mere forty years. Laurel is about the same vintage. But clearly much better preserved. I’m the first to admit that.
“Borat” the movie is a lot like our mini-Borat moment at the ticket booth (except funnier). It’s basically a series of vignettes featuring a make-believe journalist from Kazakhstan encountering real-life Americans.
You keep saying to yourself, “No, this can’t be happening!” Yet it is. And it’s almost always hilarious. Laurel isn’t a big laugh-out-loud movie goer. But I heard her giggling like, well, a teenager through Borat’s nude wrestling scene with his portly Kazakhstan traveling companion. That alone was worth the price of admission.
For several years we’ve been big fans of Sacha Baron Cohen, a.k.a. Borat, Ali G, Bruno and other comedic personas. Way back in July 2004 I was on the leading edge of the current Borat craze with my “Da Ali G, for real!” post.
As I said back then, not many people in this country must watch HBO’s Da Ali G show. For Cohen has no problem fooling his unwitting foils. I’ve read that Cohen’s assistants rush those who appear on camera through the signing of release forms.
Indeed, it’s hard to believe that some of the poor souls who embarrass themselves in “Borat” were willing cinematic collaborators. Some scenes obviously were staged while most others seemed spontaneous.
A climactic scene involving Pamela Anderson had Laurel and me wondering: staged or spontaneous? This blogger believes that Anderson was oblivious to Cohen’s true self. However, he follows up that conclusion with a report of a 2005 encounter between Anderson and Cohen during her dog’s wedding.
Wouldn’t Anderson have recognized Cohen at the book signing shown in “Borat” if she’d previously been tackled by him on a Malibu beach? Of course, maybe the book signing occurred before the dog wedding. I’m inclined to agree with this reviewer that Pamela was in on the joke.
Fact and fiction blur in the marvelously creative mind of Sacha Baron Cohen. Why else would the actual Kazakhstan ambassador to the United Kingdom be so offended by Borat’s humor?