It looks like Sacha Baron Cohen’s lastest film, Bruno, may be undergoing some changes soon. The film’s initial screening by the MPAA culminated in an NC-17 rating for the edgy film. You can’t release a film with an NC-17 rating. No one will screen it and no one will watch it.
Here’s a look at what pissed off the censors:
Among the scenes reportedly causing the most issues: one in which flamboyant fashionista Brüno is seen engaging in what appears to be anal sex with another man, and one in which he sneaks, naked, into a tent, unbeknownst to its male occupant.
The film is slated for a summer release and, while already buzzworthy, has garnered significant praise from critics who were privy to a 22-minute preview at the South by Southwest festival earlier this month.
Three scenes were shown in their MPAA-offending entirety. One reveals the setup for the film: Brüno and his boyfriend decide to jump on board the latest Hollywood trend and adopt an African baby (which arrives via a cardboard box). Unfortunately, the beaus quickly break up, and Brüno loses custody of the child. He spends the rest of the movie attempting to get it back by proving himself to be one of the most heterosexual men in the country.
Along the way, he plans a photo shoot featuring his newest baby/accessory and auditions child actors to take part; shocking hilarity ensues when he gets the OK from stage mothers to administer liposuction to their apparently hefty toddlers, throw them from buildings in the name of art and dress them up like baby Hitlers.
The second previewed scene shows Brüno appearing on a Springeresque talk show to show off his newest acquisition. Unfortunately, it’s done with the aid of (Photoshopped) images of him and his boyfriend in the throes of passion with the baby looking on.
The final scene, by most accounts one of the movie’s most shocking, features the newly butch Bruno, going by the name Straight Dave, in an ultimate fighting ring, challenging his ex-boyfriend. After they beat each other into a bloody state, they passionately reconcile—in front of the clearly scandalized audience.
Now correct me if I’m wrong, but none of this sounds like anything worse than what’s happened in R-rated movies. Something tells me the MPAA was particularly offended by the anal sex — they may actually even have specific rules about anal vs. missionary sex. I mean, did anyone actually see Zack & Miri Make a Porno? There was a lot of fucking in that film, but it was all man-on-woman. It kind of annoys me that man-on-man anal warrants a stronger rating. It’s still sex, peeps.