When the MTV Movie Awards delivers a jawdropping, “did they or didn’t they?” moment, you know the show is a success. And last night’s awkwardly riveting train wreck came courtesy of Bruno, a.k.a. Austria’s famed homosexual TV reporter, a.k.a. Sasha Baron Cohen in his greatest post-Borat guise yet. Descending from the ceiling in a blur of feathers and assless chaps, Bruno’s attempt to present the Best Male Performance Award to Zac Efron was overshadowed by his tangled harness and prompt crotch-first plunge into Eminem’s face, below. The rapper and his entourage quickly attacked the flailing, feathered Bruno (eliciting yells of “Guys, guys, I already have a boyfriend!”) and Eminem promptly stormed off the premises, leaving viewers wondering if a Detroit-Vienna gang war had just been born in Universal City.
Bruno, a.k.a. Sasha Baron Cohen (courtesy of Melissa Goodman) and Eminem (courtesy of Getty Images)
But it wasn’t all feuding stars and risqué outfits at Sunday night’s 18th annual Movie Awards at the Gibson Amphitheater in Universal Studios. There was plenty of love to go around as Andy Samberg played perfect host to a roomful of stars and the Twilight cast swept nearly every category. In fact, there was so much love between Kiefer Sutherland and the night’s Generation Award winner Ben Stiller, it led to an almost tediously long bromance interlude.
While the show honored this year’s cinematic achievements (well, the kind of cinematic achievements that include hunky vampires and Amy Poehler peeing in a sink), there were a few musical moments to remind viewers they were indeed watching MTV. Pre-Bruno, Eminem took the stage in one of his first live performances since 2005, hyping up the crowd and eliminating any doubt that he may have lost his edge in the past four years. Delivering back-to-back renditions of “We Made You” and “Crack a Bottle,” both off his recently released album, Relapse, the rapper was on-point, looking right at home amidst cheers and a theater-wide standing ovation.
Reigning chart-toppers, Kings of Leon performed their single, “Use Somebody” to an equally enthusiastic crowd, showcasing lead singer Caleb Followill’s pitch-perfect vocals, and the band’s impressive stage presence. Many of the stars on the red carpet gushed over K.O.L., proclaiming their love for the Tennessee quartet and solidifying the Followills’ rock royalty status.
Kings of Leon (courtesy of Getty Images)
Besides the anticipated musical acts, Leann Rimes, Chris Isaak, and Forrest Whitaker delivered a stirring medley of Andy Samberg’s greatest hits, including “I’m on a Boat,” “Jizz in my Pants,” and the legendary, “Dick in a Box” (performed by an overwhelmingly passionate Whitaker). Samberg himself was the consummate MTV host, mixing equal parts vulgarity, humor, and utter randomness (i.e., Keyboard Cat – Samberg’s punishment for all award winners whose speeches ran over the allotted times).
Completely un-random was the night’s recurring Twilight theme. From Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s fake-out make-out after winning Best Kiss to the entire cast’s onstage love-fest upon taking Best Movie, Twilight was clearly the crowd favorite and MTV’s golden child of ’09.
All in all, Sunday’s show proved that after 28 years (yes, you read that right), MTV still knows how to hit a homerun with their core audience: live music, heartthrobs, and a smattering of crotch shots.
Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner of Twilight (courtesy of Getty Images)