Three weeks ago today, I left work early and headed up to Edina, the site of a free myspace screening of the outrageous new comedy, "Borat".
It was a beautiful sunny day. On my way up there, I listened to New Edition and Sounds of the Eighties - 1983. It only took about 95 minutes to get from Rochester to the Southdale Mall in Edina. The screening was to take place at the AMC 16. Seating was to start at 9pm. There were just a few people waiting in line at 4:40pm, so I headed to the food court and had a bite at BK. I usually like to read while I eat, so I looked around for something to peruse. The best I could find was a newsletter that talked about how liberal the media is. I got a few chuckles out of it. I checked the line every 15 minutes or so for the next hour and a half to make sure it didn't get too long. I went to a few stores, most notably B. Dalton. The line was starting to grow by 6:30pm, so I headed over there. I had brought a portable CD player with me to listen to while waiting. I sat on the floor and pressed play. A group of 5 came up behind me, sat down, and proceeded to play a game of Monopoly. As the line grew longer, many people passing by asked what it was we were waiting to see. I'd say 90% of the people there were male and 95% of them were 25 or younger. At about 7:30, a theatre employee told everyone to stand up. A few minutes later, some ladies wearing myspace T-shirts started giving people in the line paper wristbands and told us that seating would start at 9pm. By this time, there were probably about 200 people in line. I strolled around a bit, returned my headphones to the car, and got back into the 2nd line (for people who already had the wristbands).
The excitement continued to build as 9pm grew closer. Some people who arrived too late were given a flyer for a future screening. I felt a little sorry for them, but it did say on the invitation to arrive early to "ensure success". At 9pm, we were given a survey to fill out and pointed in the direction of the screening room. No cell phones were allowed which was cool (no phones going off in the middle of the movie). A couple employees were wanding people (for metal devices). When I passed one, he said I was the first person he had seen that was over 25. No doubt. I found a good seat in the 3rd row, near the middle. The guy behind us was one of the managers of AMC, so had a lot of clout. He told one of the employees to turn the thermostat down 3 degrees since it was getting warm in there. He also said that AMC does not discourage people from bringing in their own food or beverage. He said it was alright if people brought in Chinese food and ate it while watching a film. How refreshing, I thought. A guy sitting two seats down from me drew a pencil sketch of Borat that was quite good. A guy in front of me was reading "Stuff" magazine.
At right around 10pm, a myspace lady came out and said that she really appreciated all of us coming out, that the movie doesn't open nationwide until November 3rd, and to return the surveys at the end of the movie if possible. The theatre went dark as a special introduction by Borat began. He thanked us for attending the "myspaces" screening and hoped we would enjoy his movie. People were already cracking up. And then it began. I don't think I've ever been at a movie where there is so much sustained laughter, so much so that you miss some of the dialogue following some scenes. This one guy nearby had a really weird laugh. One of the ushers sat and watched the entire movie off to the side (he was there to make sure things didn't get out of hand). He was probably in his 50's. I looked at him now and then to see what his reaction was to some of the outrageous things happening onscreen. What kinds of things? Well, how about 2 naked guys wrestling each other, up close, in a fight that spills out into an actual hotel convention (this scene had me crying from laughter for the first time in years). Or Borat at a real-life rodeo with hundreds of people in attendance saying, among other things, "May George Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq!" Or when Borat gives a long passionate kiss to a woman who he then states is his sister, "number 4 prostitute in all country!". Yes, for 85 minutes, we were all joined as one, reveling in this thing, loving every minute. The show concluded at about 11:30 and people started filing out. Many were exhausted from laughing so much, me included.
The below pic sums up how I felt after seeing the movie:
I got in my car and relaxed during the ride home, looking forward to seeing the movie again on November 3rd and many times thereafter. Isnice!!! High five!!!