Location: Los Angeles, California

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan

"Borat" deserves to enter the small group of elite comedies that includes films such as "Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "The Producers," "This is Spinal Tap," "Dr. Strangelove," "Some Like It Hot," and "Best in Show."

It's one of those rare comedies that doesn't merely include laughs, but includes laughs lined up one right after another - a stream of side-splitting offensive humor that leaves a permanent smile on your face.

Unlike "Da Ali G Show," the film "Borat" contains a storyline, and as a result, some scenes are staged. Nearly all of these staged scenes work, and some of them are even flat-out brilliant, but Sacha Baron Cohen is at his best when he's involved in completely improvised situations.

I dare not reveal any of the jokes here. "Borat" is going to be a huge word-of-mouth success. I've been a fan of Cohen since 2003, and there's a tendency for people to feel like they've lost something precious when a cult favorite becomes a mainstream sensation.

But I feel no loss here. The more people who witness the comic mastermind that is Cohen, the better. He has made one of the best films of the year.

Rating: **** (out of ****)


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