(Just a single rule: mix-tape-style, no more than one film per director. You know, because otherwise the whole thing would be pointless.)
(#30) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan
Comedy • dir. Larry Charles • 2006 • USA/Kazakhstan
Don’t tell me you didn’t find Borat… funny. No, seriously don’t. There’s something terribly deflating about any failure to share a sense of humor – the unspoken agreement is that you should stop being such a big old square, daddy-o, or that I should quit being a credulous dunderhead. At one time or another, we’ve all heard that must dreadful of utterances, is this supposed to be funny? It’s about as welcome as a pork sausage in a kosher deli. (Badum-tish.)
Of course, though, the opposite is similarly true: sharing a sense of humor with someone is one of life’s great joys. No doubt, too, it’s the secret of Borat’s success. Just take a closer at the people who made it. How else to explain how Sacha Baron Cohen (English, of Eastern European Jewish descent) teamed up with Peter Baynham (a funny Welshman and occasional star of cult, mid-90s British TV comedy), Todd Phillips (a filmmaker from Brooklyn), and Larry Charles (the significantly older former Seinfeld staff writer). They all well and truly got the joke – fictional Kazakh reporter bumbles across America, befriending and bemusing the locals – and together they executed it flawlessly. Me, I have a special fondness for the end product on account of whom I first watched it with: in a packed Croydon cinema, the lovely Jacqueline. The both of us laughed up a storm, and married not long after.