It’s been one hell of a year, and we need to grab onto anything that gives us joy these days. While we can certainly breathe a temporary sigh of relief for the results of our election — congrats, Joe and Kamala! — we’re still very much dealing with a narcissistic baby-man who refuses to concede, millions of people who are still drinking his fucked up Kool-Aid, and a nasty pandemic that just won’t quit. And since Saturday’s national happy-dance hangover has finally worn off, I’m looking anywhere I can to add levity to the heaviness that has accompanied surviving this 2020 shitstorm.
Thankfully, I didn’t have to look far for reasons to smile during this Twilight Zone of a month. Because Sacha Baron Cohen was staring at me through the Amazon Prime Video homepage the other day, and I was primed and ready to laugh my ass off with him.
I sank my tired self down into the cushions of my old couch, grabbed some microwaved coffee, and joyfully piss-laughed my way through the Borat sequel. And everything, if even for a brief two hours, instantly felt better. All was suddenly right with the world, because Cohen had made his hilarious way back into my life — and I honestly never want him to leave. Mostly because I don’t know how I’m going to get through the rest of this year without him.
I mean, let’s be totally honest here. Who else besides Cohen has been this damn successful at exposing what a creepy old weirdo Rudy Giuliani is? Not to mention, the Borat creator managed to help me cringe-laugh at freaky ass Rudy during the same week he held a “war on democracy” press conference in a parking lot between a crematorium and a sex toy store — which makes Cohen the ultimate comedy hero in my book.
While there are so many magical moments in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm: Delivery of Prodigious Bribe to American Regime for Make Benefit Once Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan that produce tear-ridden, spit-out-your-water laughter, one particular part of the movie takes the cake for me. I don’t want to spoil too much of the genius plot for you, but I will be diving into the scene that gave me all the warm-and-fuzzies — so consider yourself warned. Let’s just say that peak-Borat shenanigans ensue when our title character takes his teenage daughter to a debutante ball. And things go south (pun intended) really, really fast.
After unexpectedly reuniting with 15-year old Tutar (played by comedic standout Maria Bakalova) on his return trip to America, Borat and his kid traverse across the country in the hopes of presenting Tutar as a gift to Vice President Mike Pence. The dad takes his teen to an Instagram influencer who suggests a full-body makeover, and away they go as Tutar is transformed from a hairy-pitted daytime Cinderella into a hairy-pitted nighttime Cinderella. Borat wants to teach his daughter how to “act like a lady,” so he dresses her to the nines, gets her female “etiquette” lessons, and takes her to a local debutante ball. Introduced under the side-splitting pseudonyms “Sandra Jessica Parker Drummond” and “Professor Phillip Drummond III,” the two present themselves to a room filled with cotillion-clad fathers and their teenage daughters.
But just as they are called to the ballroom floor to take part in a traditional father-daughter dance, Tutar whispers to Borat that she’s on her “moon blood,” much to the surprising relief and excitement of the teen’s dad. “Now we can wow them with our traditional fertility dance,” Borat whispers back to Tutar.
And that’s when all hell breaks loose in every amazing way you would expect from Cohen.
The duo start engaging in what seems to be a synchronized Kazakh-style dance, and their audience delightedly claps to the beat while the two innocently groove to the music. As Tutar spin-hops in circles, she slowly hikes her dress up until her “moon blood” is shared with the entire room in all its glory. I’m assuming you’ve guessed it by now — Borat’s teenage daughter is definitely on her period, and her dad is definitely elated about it because it means he can put her literal fertility on display and raise Tutar’s chances of being desirable to the men folk. As Borat and Tutar smile with wide eyes at their audience, his daughter exposing every ounce of her menstrual blood-soaked underwear for all to see, the energy of the room quickly dampens from jovialness to downright shock and disgust.
With this excruciatingly divine moment, Borat 2 officially became one of the best things to ever happen to me this year. And I’m not the only one who can’t stop laughing.
Borat 2 the fertility dance pic.twitter.com/E4UfmBQkSm
— Ike A. Nuksey (@ANuksey) November 4, 2020
The fertility dance from Borat 2 was the hardest I've laughed in months.
— Benjamin (@bensboringtweet) November 3, 2020
The fertility dance killed me
— MG (@iammoviegirl) November 8, 2020
so far absolute best part of Borat sequel has been him taking his daughter to a debutante ball in Texas…..I don’t wanna spoil it but omfg
— troy (@boy____troy) October 23, 2020
The truth is, it’s easy to understand why the internet would be abuzz with reactions to the “moon blood” scene. When taboo subjects are turned into hysterical plotlines for movies, it takes the unjustified secrecy out of the equation. We watch Tutar flailing around in her blood-stained dress and we can’t help but laugh at something we usually feel deeply uncomfortable about. And since we’ve been conditioned in this ridiculous society to basically pretend that periods don’t exist, putting them in the spotlight like Cohen did forces us to confront that 1) they happen, and 2) we need to get over it and stop treating girls like dainty little prizes who secretly have them.
Of course, I’m not advocating for everyone to go around shoving their period panties in everyone’s faces (not yet at least), but damn this was a great way to remind people that your monthly flow is the most natural fucking thing for someone to get. As I watched those debutante daddy-daughter duos, I literally saw sexism oozing out of every pristine white dress worn by a girl whose father was about to “present” her as if she’s a dressed-up cow at a cattle market. Then Tutar comes along showing the very proof of having embarked on the physical changes of womanhood, and these dads don’t know what to fucking do. And this was after Borat walked around asking a bunch of them how much they’d pay for his kid — to which they answered.
“My precious daughter and I walked out into the cool Macon night with mouths agape wondering what had just happened,” one duped ball attendee wrote online. “I have no real problem with Borat getting a laugh at our expense. I find some of his stuff pretty funny. I will laugh a lot harder if we get the last laugh on Nov. 3.”
I think Borat’s the one laughing, dude. And so am I.
If you haven’t already had a chance to see this movie, which is basically one uproarious “fuck you” to the Trump Administration, go do it now. I’ve already watched it again, and it was even funnier the second time around. The truth is, we need the Sacha Baron Cohens of the world to help shine a humorous light on what is truly messed up about America right now. As I write this, our warped reality-show hack of a president is still acting like he thinks he’s on a House of Cards crossover episode of The Apprentice. You can’t make this shit up — but thanks to Cohen, at least you can laugh about it.