Saturday, November 04, 2006

Shortbus and Borat

Never thought I would see so much male nudity in a mainstream theater this past weekend. I saw Borat with a bunch of friends. I saw Shortbus alone.

First off, Borat wasn't as funny as I expected. I've seen Sacha Baron Cohen's excellent Da Ali G Show and was anxious to see Borat. It's hilarious - and for the most part - the targets of ridicule deserve to be ridiculed. Any person who actively uses politics and religion to promote bigotry gets little sympathy in my book. That said - funny, but my sides weren't hurting the next morning. Still definitely worth the movie admission.

The majority of my friends did not want to see Shortbus. Most of my friends are not prudes, but a good number of them were not a fan of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and were not willing to go along for another ride from John Cameron Mitchell. I walked into the movie five minutes into the film. The ticketholder gave me the speech about knowing what to expect when going into the theater. The even had a note that said 'Shortbus Walkouts' with about eight marks on it.

That said - it was a mess of a movie. I seriously wondered who would have walked out of this movie knowing what to expect. I am willing to bet money all of the people who walked out of the movie have rented or have seen a porno at some time in their life. Maybe even a few times. But when these characters actually portray emotions like real human beings, this type of nudity makes people uncomfortable.

If you honestly tried to mentally keep the sex in Shortbus in its proper place, you would see a movie about people who are desperately trying to connect. Sofia (Sook-Yin Lee) is a sex therapist who has never had an orgasm. In a sensory deprivation tank (ok, a bit heavy on the metaphors), she confided that she believed attaining an orgasm would induct her into an exclusive club of womanhood. James (Paul Dawson) and Jamie (PJ DeBoy) are lovers who hope that the inclusion of another partner (played by Jay Brannan) will somehow bring the two closer to one another.

Much like Magnolia, Short Cuts and Boogie Nights, Shortbus features a cast of misfits whose lives clash into one another. It's hardly a movie that justifies a walkout if you know what you'll be seeing in the theater is going to be the same stuff that you've seen on Cinemax late at night or during Friday afternoon "bonding" times at most fraternities. Still, it's a movie that I would recommend to very few. Proceed with caution... -



Blogger Karenetta said...

thanks for the review on shortbus, I'll save my money. . .as for Borat, I believe my sides were splitting from laughter. And now I hear Borat's voice in my head throughout the day: "Very Very Nice." I think I might end up seeing it again this weekend. I also really liked Talledega nights, did you see that one?

10:17 AM  
Blogger TransformerGeek said...

Thanks for the kind words! I have not seen 'Talledega Nights', but it's on my list. I also want to see 'Stranger Than Fiction.' Is that one on your list?

12:07 PM  
Blogger David said...

I've been dying to see both movies, but I can't really go until my jail sentence is over. : )

Hoefully they'll still be in theaters here in Austin this coming weekend.

10:11 AM  

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