There's an interesting conversation going on over at Hollywood Elsewhere about Sasha Baron Cohen's upcoming film, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, and whether the film is too intellectual for the average moviegoer. Jeff Wells notes that the awareness level of the film in the average movie-goer is not great, even though it's receiving lots of buzz from industry types and critics since it screened at the Toronto International Film Festival. Wells speculates some on why the movie isn't buzzing well with average joes, and wonders whether part of the reason might be that people are hearing that the film basically makes Middle Americans look like a bunch of racist, homophobic dorks.

There's been some interesting discussion in the comments, partly on whether Middle America will be interested in seeing a film that basically mocks them out, and partly on whether Sacha Baron Cohen should have delved into other groups like the Black Panthers or Nation of Islam and gotten them talking about the "white devils," to be more balanced. Maybe Cohen will tackle offending those folks in a future film; I certainly wouldn't put it past him. I saw Borat at Toronto (both at the premiere, when the projector famously broke 15 minutes into sold-out screening, and the following night all the way through), and I laughed non-stop, even when I was cringing at the way Cohen is able to elicit the most amazing responses out of the subjects he encounters in the film.