Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Film previews: Borat and Sixty-Six

boratSacha Baron-Cohen is either the most brave or the most stupid person on the planet. While "interacting" with the American public in Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit the Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, he is variously threatened with physical assault, arrest, lynching and a floppy plastic fist. It's a credit to him (and his producers) that he never once chickens out or breaks character.

The film is little more than an extended TV sketch (and some of the scenes are straightforward remakes of Borat's appearances on Da Ali G Show) but it holds together surprisingly well. There is just enough story to give the film some structure and, unlike the majority of comedy films, it keeps up the laugh quotient right to the bitter end.

Some of the scenes are a little close to the bone - don't take your gran - and Baron-Cohen seems a little old to be so fixated on his anus as a source of humour (poor little Isla Fisher). But you will laugh as often as you bite your knuckles in discomfort. We like!

sixty sixSixty Six, on the other hand, is a film you can take your gran to. Set in 1966, it's all about Eddie Reuben, a young Jewish kid who is looking forward to his Bar Mitzvah. In fact, he's looking forward to it just a little too much - booking caterers, drawing up seating plans and otherwise indulging in behaviour that would see him branded a "big girl's blouse" if he was at school in my day (Nowadays he'd probably be called the only gay in the village, or something equally "hilarious").

But Eddie's hopes are dashed as his family succumbs to financial crisis and his big day is continually downscaled. Worse still, he discovers that the Bar Mitzvah is planned for the same day as the World Cup Final. All the guests say they'll turn up if England don't qualify - but we all know how that story ends...

Bizarrely, this is based on the true experiences of director Paul Weiland. He was persuaded to turn his miserable childhood into a film after making an after-dinner speech about his "disastrous" Bar Mitzvah at his 50th birthday party. That's probably because his guests included people like Richard Curtis, Stephen Fry, Helena Bonham-Carter and half of the UK's film industry. (Luckily, the party didn't clash with any majot football fixtures.)

The film itself is a jolly little British working class comedy, with plenty of laughs amidst the angst. Newcomer Gregg Sulkin is note-perfect as Eddie, and the supporting cast includes such phenomenal talent as Helena Bonham-Carter, Catherine Tate and Eddie Marsan.

It's made by the people behind Bridget Jones and About A Boy, and it shares their superb sense of pace and comic timing. Unfortunately, it also mimics their descent into saccharine sentimentality at the conclusion. So, if you do take your gran, make sure she doesn't bring along any Murray Mints, in case she ends up in a diabetic coma.

Both films are out on 3 November. So now you know.

Labels: , , ,

<< Home

Newer Posts ::: Older Posts

© 2014 Discopop Directory | Contact | Go to the homepage