Last night I had the misfortune of going to see Sacha Baron Cohen’s new film Borat – Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. The movie opened here in Israel on Thursday and I figured it would be a great way to spend a Saturday night. I made plans with friends to see the late show at 11 and then decided to go for a bike ride after Shabbat when the sun had set.
Sadly, the bike ride did not go so well. Whoever designed the park in front of the American consulate in Jerusalem is an idiot. It was dark and as I was riding toward Agron street, I went over an unseen drop and wiped out on the pavement. See the park is not lit at night in order to facilitate muggings, drug deals and illicit relations in the bushes. My spill resulted in a bloody, gashed up leg and a severely bruised rib.
But hey, this was Borat! So I wiped up the blood, put on some bandages, and headed off to Talpiot to see the movie. I was curious to see how Israelis would respond to the Hebrew spoken by Borat and to some of the anti-Semitic humor in the film. The buzz for the movie was good, and not just amongst shana aleph Yeshiva kids or One Year Party visiting Hebrew U. students. The cab driver who drove me to the theatre asked if I was going to see Borat – when I answered “Yes,” he replied that he was really jealous and was looking forward to seeing the movie later on in the week.
When I got to the theatre, it was of course packed, as it usually is on a Saturday night. There were many Anglos in attendance but most of the people there were Israelis. Would they “get it?” I was about to find out.
The laughs started right from the begining. Borat spoke in Hebrew throughout the movie and the Israelis loved it! They laughed at the Running of the Jew when a grotesque Der Sturmmer-inspired character in a papier mache green Jew costume chases the townsfolk and lays eggs which the children attack. In fact the hysterical laughter never ended.
And that’s why I hate Borat – turns out bruised ribs and hearty laughter don’t mix well. I can’t even begin to describe the pain I was and still am in. Perhaps I ought to add my name to the list of litigants who feel they were hurt by the movie…. nah, those guys, particularly the drunken frat boys are idiots, using their stupidity as the basis for legal action. So no, I won’t be suing Borat/Cohen for not advising people with bruised ribs against seeing the movie, but I will warn others – bruised ribs and Borat inspired laughter do not mix well. The movie ended 8 hours ago and I am still suffering.
I hate you Borat.