Which Movie Is a Better Gay Movie: Bruno or Humpday?


Or maybe the question should be, “Which is a better gay porn movie?” Both open today, which means you can catch a double feature and make the call for yourself. Vanity Fair‘s gay car blogger Brett Berk makes the case: “Bruno’s schtick is straight-up Pinkface. He grabs hold of an easy gay target—a vapid fashionista—and then waves it in the air tirelessly for 83 minutes, like some underpantied go-go boy on a rainbow Pride Parade float. That’s not dancing, it’s not original, and it’s certainly not funny. […] Humpday is a bit more complex, if you think movies where characters constantly talk about what’s going on is evidence of complexity. My boyfriend Tal said, ‘It’s like Old Joy, but with words.’ And if you know Old Joy (and you should), you’ll know its premise—two now-distant old college friends reunite and take stock of each other’s lives, and their own, to somewhat devastating effect. Only in this movie, they also decide to fuck and make a porno for some amorphous art contest. This would be fine if it was a seven minute skit. Or if either of the actors was hot. Or if they didn’t treat gay sex as such an impossible-to-wrap-their-mind-around taboo. Or (spoiler alert) if they actually got over their smug Seattle selves and followed through. There’s one great scene featuring a confession regarding a hairy-balled video store clerk. But even this felt like a watered-down version of Jason Patrick’s tell-all scene in Your Friends and Neighbors, a movie I didn’t even like, by one of my most reviled straight provocateur writer/directors. ‘I never thought I’d say this,’ my friend Colin confessed as the scene ended, ‘but I almost wish this movie was directed by Neil LaButte.’”

Either way, you’ll get man-on-man sex in both of them. Win-win? (Lose-lose?)

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  • Gregoire

    This article is so badly written that I can’t tell whether the misspelling of ‘Neil LaButte’ is intentional or not.

  • 7SK

    I went to see Bruno with my mom. We walked out about ten minutes in.

    There’s this…sex scene, with Bruno and his boyfriend, a pygmy Malaysian flight attendant (or something like that). They’re wearing matching zipper-covered jumpsuits. The scene is…graphic, and disturbing, and based on the comments my mother said after she walked out, misleading and, for some people, extremely damaging to their image of gay people. Really, the whole thing is just gross and goes way over the line of good taste.

    And the few minutes I saw before and after that weren’t very funny, either.

  • C-Teller


    Why are you two so bothered over sex? I can see if your objections came from the movie mocking gay people and playing into stereotypes but “wow graphic sex”? That if anything seems to be slightly homophobic and sexphobic.

  • AlwaysGay

    I’m reading that many people walked out on Bruno. I want to hear if any gay person was harrassed and/or beaten up before or after watching Bruno.

    For those that continue to defend the movie as being supportive of gay people read these reviews.
    “This movie probably showed you all the funny moments in the trailor. It was DISGUSTING and TASTELESS!!! It was NOWHERE near as good as BORAT. I wanted to throw up nearly 90% of the movie. If you like gay porn, then you’ll like this movie.”
    “I have never been offended by a movie and still have yet to, but Bruno did a good job of destroying any other sensibilities that i may have had. Don’t get me wrong, Sacha Baron Cohen is brilliant and as badly as I wanted to like this movie. I just could not. I’m not homophobic or anything like that, but they went way too far with this film. To sum it up…it was an hour and a half of two guys performing random homosexual acts on each other. A nice little gay porno. His member was on the screen more than his face. For me being a heterosexual male, it was revolting and almost unbearable. Thankfully I went with two girls who provided me with enough conversation so that I could not hear the characters screaming as they committed themselves to one another. On top of all of that, it really was not that funny of a movie. There were a few hysterical moments, but they were brief and short-lived.”

  • 7SK

    @C-Teller: Pygmy on an exercise machine connected to a dildo in Bruno’s ass. Bare-assed pygmy on a chair slingshot across the room onto Bruno’s cock. Pygmy vacuuming Bruno’s scrotum. Bruno shoving a bottle of champagne bottom-first into pygmy’s ass, then tipping pygmy over to serve the champagne. There was more, but I’ve tried to forget it.

    It wasn’t “sex,” it was perverse fetishism that makes the gay community specifically, as well as all sexually active humans in general, look bad. Don’t call me a homophobe or a sexophobe or whatever for not thinking that’s acceptable. If you’d seen it, you’d understand.

  • TikiHead

    “Pygmy on an exercise machine connected to a dildo in Bruno’s ass. Bare-assed pygmy on a chair slingshot across the room onto Bruno’s cock. Pygmy vacuuming Bruno’s scrotum. Bruno shoving a bottle of champagne bottom-first into pygmy’s ass, then tipping pygmy over to serve the champagne. There was more, but I’ve tried to forget it.”

    I am so there — please don’t spoil any more.

  • D-Sun


    …..Huh…I’m at a loss for words…

    I have got to see this movie.

  • Alexander

    @7SK: Wow, you need to get over yourself. You had ample time to read reviews, look at the ratings, and hear the buzz, and yet your clean-as-the-driven-snow conscience couldn’t handle this? Clearly, it was the wrong movie for you, and your POOR MOTHER! After EVERYTHING that has been said about this movie, even after Borat, you still thought you could take your mother to this movie, and she’d be okay with it? That’s just… stupidity.

  • 7SK

    @Alexander: She wanted to go. She’d seen Borat, and thought this would be funny. I haven’t been paying attention to the movie other than watching the commercials.

  • rick

    humpday. the reviewers at the new york times wet their pants over it.

  • LJ

    Bruno was funny as hell. I don’t see what the big deal is with people having a problem with the movie. The plot wasn’t too coherent, but a lot of the jokes were really funny. The opening especially…the graphic simulated sex was so hilariously over the top. Especially the bicycle connected to the dildo machine lol. If you saw Borat and you like inappropriate, crossing the line comedies go see this movie. If you’re a prude and don’t get that it’s one big joke…don’t. Plain and simple.

  • TANK


    You went with your mother? My mother strips during the day, I can’t very well bring her fat ass. But in reality, that’s not a movie I’d go to see with mom…

    And no self respecting gay person would go to see this.

  • Dave

    so gay sex is bad?

  • edgyguy1426

    if you want people to consider that kind of sex as the gay ‘norm’ – go for it, cuz you know that kind of branding has worked so well in Pride Parades in the past.
    How did that film not get an ‘x’rating, anyway? Never saw Borat; I don’t really appreciate the kind of humour where unsuspecting people used and humiliated for the sake of a laugh.
    ‘Pinkface’ <– love that term!

  • Jon

    OMG, I am totally going to see this movie. I HATE SBC, but your description makes me want to see this movie. I can’t wait to see Pygmy sex. HOT!

  • alan brickman

    Bruno will encourage “gay violence” so i would go with the latter film…

  • The Gay Numbers

    Uhm- I am going to guess that another Christian fundie group has found the site because I no more believe that this cat went with his mother than I believe in Alien space gods. And if you did go with your mother, how fucked are the two of you? Do you even know you are fucked up?

  • TikiHead

    @TANK: “And no self respecting gay person would go to see this.”

    Eh. I respect myself just fine. It’s just that I get satire. It doesn’t mean I think anyone else is wrong for avoiding it.

    I’ll probably go with my Mom, she keeps mentioning it.

  • TANK


    No you don’t understand satire. This isn’t “satire”–as the so called “vice” being attacked is HOMOSEXUALITY. He is deriding gay people for being gay for LAUGHS.

  • TANK

    I swear to fucking god if you choades are attacking the flagrant pride parades but are going to see this movie and defend it, you are precisely what self hating refers to.

  • TikiHead

    @TANK: uhuh.

  • Zacery

    “This would be fine if it was a seven minute skit. Or if either of the actors was hot.”

    Uh…sorry, what?

    *Instantly abandons this poisonous website*

  • TANK

    As I expected, GLAAD panned bruno as affirming every negative gay stereotype in the book, and amplifying it for comedic effect.

  • TikiHead

    OH, GLAAD panned it? Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck. I am changing my vote now – you can’t fight GLAAD, anymore than you could fight a Sith Lord like Camille Paglia!

  • TANK

    Of course you can disagree with the lgbt media watchdog…It’s hard being right (and I right a loooong time ago but this movie) when I’m basically arguing with stupid people. Bruno’s complex, though…it’s “delicate satire” that is clearly above anyone who might think it would encourage homophobia and antigay sentiment, at the very least. LOL! This proves that gays (as a group) ain’t anymore intelligent than the stupidest, sloppiest hetero breeder in a trailer park.

  • TikiHead


  • Rudy

    The second page of Dennis Lim’s Slate article might make sense of “Bruno” for some people: http://www.slate.com/id/2222553/

  • GSH

    I am just soooooo sick and tired of all the gay media dutifully playing along with Cohen’s huge publicity machine…. Please please stop now.

    There is no controversy here, not even the slightest pretence of “satire”. This is just a tireless self-promoter who knows there are enough dumb-ass people out there to laugh at his crude, elementary-school antics. As for reviewers who continue to rave on about his “comedian talent”, as far as I am concerned they’re all on the pay anyway.

  • GBM

    I saw Bruno yesterday as I did find it funny. I noticed some of the faces of heterosexuals as they were leaving the movie some looked seriously confused and some just shaking their damn heads in dis-belief and it made me think.

    “Well what will they really think of Gays now?”

    That’s something to think about. As it’s Satire at it’s best. On the other hand???????????????????

    Things that make you go HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM
    Afterall he is a British actor.

  • AlwaysGay

    What is most disturbing about Bruno is heterosexuals will feel validated in their wrong and bigoted belief that gay people behave for the purpose of provoking them.

    In New Zealand a heterosexual male was convicted of only manslaughter after he killed a gay man. The defense said the gay man propositioned him when in reality there was NO evidence of that at all. The heterosexual jury believed it without question and convicted the murderous heterosexual male to a lesser charge. Even if the gay man did proposition him it is no reason to murder. Cases like this happen all-the-time.

  • galefan2004

    @7SK: You expected Bruno to be in good taste. That in and of itself is hilarious. To be honest, I can’t think of a single main stream non-independent gay film that has ever shown gays in a positive light.

  • galefan2004

    @7SK: That would be called kink, and most gay porno films make it look tame by comparison. Maybe Bruno wasn’t directed at prudes? Who would have thought!

  • galefan2004

    @TANK: Your mother is a fat assed stripper? That helps to explain a lot about you.

  • galefan2004

    @edgyguy1426: Yes because its the gay pride parades and the extremes of gay sex that cause the nation to be judgmental pricks. I can understand playing the victim card, but do you have to blame yourself at the same time? The reason those religious homophobic assholes hates us has nothing to do with what we have done or ever will do. They hate us because are different from them. If we weren’t even having sex at all they would still hate us because we are different than them. Their ability to judge us because we are different breeds from their desire to not have to examine themselves.

  • 7SK

    @galefan2004: 1. I never said I expected it to be in good taste.

    2. “Most gay porno films make it look tame by comparison.” That’s a lie. You underestimate how much porn there is. Extreme fetishism (anything that would match/surpass Bruno) makes up a much smaller percentage of that than you think.

    3. Had I been alone, the scene probably wouldn’t have bothered me as much. Sitting next to my mother was more uncomfortable than actually watching it (In case anyone was wondering why I went with her in the first place, I’m seventeen and I still live at home). I’m not a prude, but I guess she is, even though she liked Borat.

    4. I’ll have to see the movie again, though, the whole thing this time. The few minutes I saw weren’t particularly funny, a bit contrived really, but there was some hint of humor.

    But as for the original question, it’s not a “gay movie,” per se, so Humpday would win by default.

  • M Shane

    Neither movie sounded like it was worth my time and money just in terms of quality. I think that trying to make gay comedy which is sexual for general consumption is pretty risky simply because gay persons have traditionally taken greater license sexually (certainly before AIDS). Without sex films like ‘La Cage au Folles’ can be made which are funny and don’t present sex to any degree.

    I’m not really sure what a gay movie is supposed to be a bunch of dour couples from the suburbs hold hands & advertzing garden mulch? That’s more scary than anything.

    The movies were made for general public consumption so it’s a little hypocritical to suggest that we are not generally a lot more sexually versatile. And straights show some S/M bondage etc. We can do some of that . But we don’t have to show everything that we find real but outrageous outselves that goes beyond the pale of general good taste.

    I would just like to see some more gay movies that have quality to them ,integrity and humor that is not so over the top as to be the entire show. I takes good writting and filming. “Milk ” would have been far more authentic if, among other things, the sexual atmosphere of the time was shown.
    Gay culture has a long way to go again. We were the arbitors of taste at one time. Cheap shots won’t do.

  • Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com

    Here’s the test.

    Take off your Special Gay Decoder Glasses and raise your hand if you would contribute to a fund to arrange to have this movie shown immediately to Congress before they voted on repealing DOMA, DADT, and whether to pass ENDA and the hate crimes bill.


  • TANK


    So by that, you must think bruno’s a documentary, aspberger’s baby.

  • TANK

    No one has the right to make fun of my mother but me…and anyone who makes fun of my mother.

  • TikiHead

    “Dorothy Mantooth is a saint!”

  • Kid A

    @TANK: haha

    @Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com: here’s another test: raise your hand if you would contribute to a fund to arrange to have the members of Congress attend the Folsom Street Fair before they voted on repealing DOMA, DADT, and whether to pass ENDA and the hate crimes bill.

    See how easy it is?

  • rick

    @M Shane: you have no idea what the plot to humpday is do you?

  • GBM

    @Kid A:

    Loves it…Miss Bedwell is a hoot isn’t she!

  • hephaestion

    @7SK: Why on earth did you take your mom to a Sacha Baron Cohen film? Do you take her to see John Waters films, too?

    I laughed all the way thru “Bruno,” and I think it makes homophobes look like morons. But I would NEVER take my parents or anyone straight over age 50 or 60 to see it!

  • thinking

    Try comparing & contrasting this with the “Church Lady” skits on Saturday Night Live.

    Many Christians at the time were the sketch’s biggest fans, it was the more “sensitive” and fundy ones that got all up in stitches about it.

  • suckmydickallofyou

    Just calm down! It’s a film. If you dont like it, dont comment, dont watch it.

Comments are closed.