The movie opens with Bruno (the comedic genius Sasha Baron Cohen) at the top of his career-- as the host of a fashion show in Austria and the most popular German-speaking TV personality outside of Germany. He's obviously gay, and is in a satisfying relationship with his small Asian boyfriend (Clifford Banagale), detailed explicitly in their very active sex life. Bruno decides that it's time he expand his career, and decides to attend Prada's fashion week show. He shows up in an all-velcro outfit and proceeds to interview models and a casting agent. He's kicked out of the show, but causes a scene when his velcro outfit gets stuck to a curtain and he ends up on the runway, where he is booed away. This leads to his downfall in Europe and the cancellation of his show, along with being dumped by his boyfriend.
Looking for a new path in his career, Bruno decides to become a celebrity in the United States and moves to Los Angeles. His assistant's assistant, Lutz (Gustaf Hammarsten), declares his loyalty to Bruno and goes along with him. They meet with an agent, who has Bruno read a scene from Jerry Maguire, which fails with hilarity. His agent hooks Bruno up with extra work on the show Medium. Bruno plays a member of the jury, and ruins many takes of a courtroom scene before he's asked to leave.
With his career going nowhere, Bruno decides he should create a show where he interviews celebrities. To prepare for this, he gets his butt bleached and waxed. During the wax, he speaks with his agent about his plan to start a show. The agent agrees to put together a focus group and a meeting with CBS to screen the show.
The first person he interviews is Paula Abdul, who shows up to talk about her charity work. Bruno and Lutz are ill-prepared for the interview and have to hire some Mexican gardeners to stand in as furniture for Paula and Bruno to sit on. Paula actually does sit on one of the gardeners and talks about how important charity work is in her life. The interview ends when Bruno offers Paula a buffet of sushi served on a naked gardener's body. Paula's publicist then blacklists Bruno from all other celebrity interviews.
Distraught at being unable to get more celebrity interviews, Bruno improvises something to show the focus group, promising the agent and network exec that he was able to interview Harrison Ford. Instead, the focus group watches an extended video of Bruno dancing and showing his male parts. At the end, the much-anticipated "interview" with Harrison Ford consists of Bruno waiting outside a restaurant where he's exiting and Harrison telling him to f-ck off. The focus group reacts badly to the show, with some members leaving in disgust, and it's canned.
Faced with failure once again, Bruno looks over the focus group comments and notes that someone says that the only way he can get famous is to make a celebrity sex tape. Bruno, hoping to seduce RuPaul, instead books Ron Paul (2008 presidential candidate) under the pretense of an interview on the economic situation. Lutz breaks a light and sends Bruno and Ron Paul to a separate room so Bruno can seduce him. Techno music, candles, strawberries, and champagne aren't enough to scare Ron, but when Bruno strips down to his tighties, Ron Paul leaves in anger. Sex tape idea fails.
Bruno goes to see some ditzy twin PR consultants about doing celebrity charity work. After some discussion, he decides that he wants to do something international-- something besides Darfur, which is taken by Angelina Jolie and George Clooney. Bruno and Lutz go to the Middle East because Bruno thinks he can bring peace and thus become a huge celebrity. He interviews former Mossan agent Yossi Alpher and Palestinian politician Ghassan Kathib. He asks Yossi why he has a problem with hummus (as opposed to Hammas) and that pita bread is the real enemy. Unable to reach peace, he sings a song to the two men, which also fails to solve anything. He also speaks with a leader of a terrorist organization in an attempt to get kidnapped. Despite many insults, he's not kidnapped, and is instead kicked out.
Lutz and Bruno return to Los Angeles. They pick up one of the things they have brought back with them at the luggage claim-- an African-American baby. Bruno says that since Angelina and Madonna have one, he should have one, too. To publicize his new baby, Bruno wants to a photo shoot, where the baby is on a crucifix and other babies are included in the picture (on a crucifix next to his baby). To cast the children, Bruno speaks with several parents, who say that their children are okay with baby lipo, being enclosed with bees and wasps, and being dressed as Nazis. After this, Lutz manages to book Bruno on the Richard Bey show as a single father. When Bruno tells the audience that he has named the baby O.J. (according to him, a traditional African name) and obtained the baby by trading him for an iPod. He also has the baby wearing a midriff shirt that says "gayby" and has him listen to hardcore rap on headphones. The crowd is pissed, and the show ends with child services taking the baby away from Bruno.
At rock bottom, Bruno decides to commit carbicide, and goes to a diner to order all the desserts and pie he can eat. Lutz finds him and offers to take him home, carrying him on his back. They have a spark, and they wake up the next morning in S&M outfits, cuffed to each other, in the hotel room. Unable to free themselves, Bruno calls the hotel staff in to help, and they kick them out. Still unable to get out of the S&M ties, Bruno and Lutz are pushed out in the street, right into an anti-gay march. They are chased away and end up at a police station where they are uncuffed from each other. Upon leaving the station, Lutz admits his love for Bruno, who rejects him and said he was wearing carb goggles. Lutz leaves him and they go their separate ways.
Bruno carts his belongings, including three racks of clothes, out on the street with him. After seeing something being aired on major celebrities, he realizes that Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kevin Spacey are all world famous because they are... straight! Before Bruno goes straight, he goes to see a fortune teller to contact his past lover Milli of Milli Vanilli. The psychic says that Milli sees Bruno doing something great, and Bruno proceeds to kiss and perform oral sex on the spirit of Milli.
To become a straight man, Bruno goes to speak with a man who says he can help convert him to being straight. Their conversation is interspersed with scenes of Bruno working at being straight. These include going hunting (where he keeps trying to engage the men in girl talk and sneaking into their tents at night) and going to a swingers party. At the swingers party, Bruno is introduced to several couples at someone's home. This gets pretty graphic, although censored, when Bruno keeps observing the couples having sex. Eventually he's grabbed by a woman at the party and taken into a bedroom, where she strips down, and makes him strip, too. Bruno doesn't want to have sex with her and she keeps whipping him with a belt until he falls through a window and runs away.
Cut to eight months later.
There is a cage fight and the crowds are ready to watch "Straight Dave" fight in the ring. Bruno, dressed as a redneck in a hat and full beard, comes out and declares his heterosexuality. Someone in the audience calls him a faggot and he demands to fight the heckler. As the heckler approaches, Bruno sees that it's Lutz. Lutz gets into the cage and immediately attacks Bruno, and they start fighting. The fighting turns into a moment between the two and they start passionately kissing and tearing each other's clothes off. The crowd goes crazy mad and throws stuff, including a chair, into the cage.
The movie ends with Bruno living happily with Lutz and their baby O.J. Bruno is able to enlist several A-List musicians such as Bono, Snoop Dogg, Slash, Sting, Chris Martin and Elton John (who is using a Mexican gardener as his piano stool) to record a charity song with him-- this plays over the credits.
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