borat: cultural learnings of america for make benefit glorious nation of kazakhstan (larry charles, 2006)
Coming at this 14 years after its release, when everyone knows the joke (yes, I meant singular, not plural) and there's even a recent sequel ... my experience will be nothing like that of those who love Borat. And given my lack of feel for modern comedy, it's clear from the start I won't like this as much as its fans.
There are plenty of funny parts, of course. People are constantly exposed as morons, but hey, they are morons, at least as presented in this movie. They fell for the joke, they look bad, and it's no one's fault but there own.
I don't know which of these statements is more telling: that many of the people who participated sued once they saw themselves in the movie, or that their suits were inevitably dismissed. As Sasha Baron Cohen said of one lawsuit, "Some of the letters I get are quite unusual, like the one where the lawyer informed me I'm about to be sued for $100,000 and at the end says, 'P.S. Loved the movie. Can you sign a poster for my son Jeremy?'"
Simply put, Borat is a mean-spirited movie. Nothing wrong with that, and Baron Cohen isn't making any claims to being kind. #117 on the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They list of the top 1000 films of the 21st century.