Review by William J. Hammon, Creator of I Actually Paid to See This blog
God I love these titles. Okay, so let me take you back to 2006. I’m 24, just getting started in my career, and in one of the few instances where several of my coworkers and I had a common night off, we all decided to go to the local movie theatre on the opening night of the original Borat film. I had never seen Da Ali G Show, so while I was aware of the existence of the character of Borat, I had no frame of reference for the style of comedy. There were six of us that night, and amazingly, we all found seats together in the sold out auditorium. I was sitting on the end of our row.
It was a good thing, too, because we were all laughing so hard throughout the movie that I actually had to stick my leg out to brace and prevent myself from literally rolling in the aisles. I can’t remember a time when I laughed that hard watching a movie. I had to catch my breath several times. I was crying. I laughed so hard it literally hurt. But the best part was, so was everyone else. The original Borat was one of the greatest shared experiences in a movie theatre I’ve ever had.
But like all great art, it was also controversial and polarizing. Case in point, I saw it again a few weeks later with my sister and her now-husband. We were the only three in that particular auditorium, and I was the only one laughing. My brother-in-law, apart from a few chuckles, didn’t care for the humor, and my sister was downright traumatized during the “wrestling” scene.
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