One of the most deliciously fascinating aspects of Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan is the way in which the masterful comedian Sacha Baron Cohen gets "normal" Americans to lower their guard, say some really ignorant things, and not even realize how goofy they are. But since the producers were smart enough to get the paperwork filed in advance, all the footage is entirely legal, hilariously legit and (often) painful to watch.

A recent Newsweek article caught up with several of the interview subjects found within Borat, and (needless to say) a solid handful of them are not all that happy with their newfound noteriety: A car salesman was given $150 for three hours of his time -- and still harbors some unkind memories of Borat's visit. A Washington D.C. "humor coach" found it odd that the crazy Kazakhstani paid him in advance -- and in cash. An etiquette teacher from Alabama seems rather perturbed that she'll be appearing in "an R-rated film." (Sheesh, what year is this??) And the rodeo cowboy who trashed Muslims and gays ... well, he hasn't seen the flick yet, but odds are he'll soon be seen as a local hero. And the irony just keeps on coming...

The article is pretty darn enlightening to me, as I spent hours after seeing Borat wondering: How the HELL did he get normal folks to let down their guard and display such, well, honest behavior? And therein, I think, lies the genius of Sacha Baron Cohen's approach: By presenting such an "undesirable" foreigner, he allows his subjects to grow confident and perhaps a little superior. And that's where the "warts and all material rears its hilariously ugly head. You just might want to wait until after you see Borat before reading this article, but see the flick you absolutely must. It opens on November 3rd, and I'll be there on opening night. Yes, again.
categories Cinematical