Running With Borat.

Two movies I saw tonight: "Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan" & "Running With Scissors"

First, I'll go Borat. I'm a LITTLE disappointed they went ahead and tried to tack on a storyline in conjunction with the hilarious sections of Candid Camera Meets Trigger Happy TV (I don't really know how else to describe it to people who haven't seen any Borat segments ... but I bet making the "Trigger Happy TV" reference isn't helping matters any). A lot of the non-Real Life segments just get bogged down in sticking to the underlying story of Meeting Pam Anderson. However, without going into much detail, there are two scenes that had me not only laughing out loud until it hurt, but honestly shocked at what I was watching - and, remember, I don't have a soul, so I'm not shocked easily! The Pam Anderson climax at the end was one, and the male nude wrestling scene was the other. That's all I'm going into.

However, I have one concern: I don't know if what I was watching was real, edited, or completely fabricated. I got the feeling, going along, that some of the scenes that were involving real people were actually performed by actors. And, I'm almost certain Pam Anderson was in on it from the beginning. She was probably even working off a script. Of course, there's the usual theme involving Borat starting a line of dialogue that's either racist, anti-Semetic, or misogynistic, and the real people revealing their true colors as being either racist, anti-Semetic, misogynistic, or all three. Seemed to me, though, while the subjects were truly awful in their views, that the parts with them saying the horrid things were heavily edited. To the point where I'm thinking they were led on to such an extent - goaded perhaps - that they said things they might not normally have. I mean, we all know Mel Gibson's an asshole, but it still takes a fuckload of alcohol to get him showing his true Anti-Jew colors in public. Something to be said for that.

Anyway, if you like to laugh, go see the Borat movie. Top notch comedy.

Now, on to Running With Scissors. Kind of an under-the-radar movie if you ask me, even though it stars Annette Bening, Alec Baldwin, Brian Cox, and features Gwenyth Paltrow, Joseph Fiennes, and Evan Rachel Wood. Still, from seeing the previews a few times in recent months, something about this movie called out to me. It's about this kid with an alcoholic father and an insane mother. They divorce, she gets custody (the child is a mama's boy, and incidently homosexual as well), but inevitably she's too unstable to handle her child, so she lets her therapist (Brian Cox) adopt her only son. Wackiness ensues as the situation he's thrust into is most unfortunate.

The movie's got heart. It's about not fitting in, in a conventional setting, but completely fitting in with a group of outcasts. You'll probably want to look for Annette Bening to get another Oscar Nomination; and this makes two quality supporting cast roles for Alec Baldwin in a row! My boy! I dunno, it's interesting, but I don't think the movie's for everyone. Reminds me of something I would've seen with Melody last year.

I guess it would be what people would describe as a "Tragi-Comedy," though I loathe that term. I contest (making the point about "The Time Traveler's Wife" that I recently read) that there's no such thing as something being a tragedy AND a comedy. Here's the thing: a "Comedy," if that's what you're going to apply as a genre to your work, can't be tragic; however, a "Tragedy" can have elements of comedy and still be deemed a tragedy. My rationale here being: the comedy just sets the characters up for their inevitable tragic downfall later on, thereby making the conclusion even MORE tragic. Regardless, the movie tries to end on a hopeful note - as these Tragi-Comedies do. If you don't like movies that end with you not knowing what's DEFINITELY going to happen to the main characters, then you won't like this movie, let me put it that way.