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Monday, January 31, 2011

Worst. Movie. Accents.



If it's Monday, it must be The Bumbles' Monday Movie Meme.  This week Molly is handing down sentences to the criminals of bad movie accents, particularly her home state's capitol/capital offenses, namely Boston. She invited us to give our take on accents you love to hate.

1.  Kevin Costner makes everyone's list for his atrocious, in-and-out British accent in 'Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves'. Where was the dialect coach for this film? Cringe factor:  5 stars, out of 5.

2.  James van der Beek, of Dawson's Creek fame, slaughtered the unique Texas accent when he starred in 'Varsity Blues'.  Cringe factor:  4 stars, out of 5.

3.  Mickey Rooney embarrassed himself and outraged every Japanese person living here, and abroad, when he attempted to sound legit as a Japanese neighbor of Holly Golightly's in 'Breakfast at Tiffany's'. Cringe factor:  4 stars, out of 5.

4.  Brad Pitt has attempted several foreign accents, but his tongue-in-cheek portrayal of a fake WWII Nazi officer in 'Inglourious Basterds' was hilarious. This is a case of when bad accents are good. Cringe factor: 5 stars, out of 5 (but in a good way).

5.  Nicole Kidman should stick to her usual non-descript American accents, because her southern accent in 'Cold Mountain' didn't quite make it. It was one of those all-purpose, one-size-fits-all, impossible-to-place dialects of the South that clueless actors seem to think will fit the bill. (Renee Zellwegger, on the other hand, got the Tennessee mountain accent perfectly.)  Cringe factor: 2 stars, out of 5.

6.  Dennis Quaid in 'The Big Easy'. Now, I loves me some hunky Dennis Quaid, even though he cheated on perky and sweet Meg Ryan and ruined her face by making her think she wasn't young enough anymore and causing her to get "duck lips", but whatever. I'm sorry, Dennis, but throwing a cher on the end of every sentence does not a N'awlins accent make. Nobody, and I mean nobody but a New Orleans native, nails that accent. It's a combination heavily influenced by French, of course, but also Spanish, German, Irish, West Indies, and Brooklyn. What? Brooklyn? The legend goes that when the yellow fever epidemic of 1796 wiped out almost all of the nuns in those parishes, nuns from Brooklyn and surrounding areas were imported to New Orleans to teach in the Catholic schools, thus adding to the unique flavor that is the New Orleans accent. If you haven't heard it first-hand, it's impossible to explain. You'll just have to go there.  Cringe factor: 4 stars, out of 5. (I'm being lenient since I think Dennis is really, really sexy.)

Addendum:  Sandy just informed me that it was the other way around with Dennis and the slut Meg...her with Russell Crowe. Geez, how did I forget about that? Well, as I said to Sandy, he was probably thinking about it...with me, of course. Meg just got around to it first. So that negates the whole reasoning for the "duck lips". Why, Meg, why did you do it?!!

22 comments:

Sandy Nawrot said...

I skipped today's Monday Movie Meme, but this one is a tough one! Not enough brain cells to have pulled it off, I'm afraid. Your whole commentary on Dennis Quaid and Meg Ryan/Duck Lips made me laugh! But didn't she cheat on him with Russell Crowe on the set of Burden of Proof?

Susan said...

Geez, Sandy, you're right! Shoulda checked my facts first. But he was thinking about it, I bet. With me, of course. ;)

Judy said...

You made me smile today! :)

Wanda..... said...

This was fun, Susan...my son grew up with the biggest crush on Meg Ryan and Brad Pitt's voice in 'Inglorious Basterds' reminded me of Nick Clooney's role in "O Brother, Where Art Thou"...a movie I loved!

The Gal Herself said...

You're so right about the Mickey Rooney "impersonation." And about Meg's face, too.

Lindsey said...

We had similar responses, and I loved Pitt's accent in Inglourious Basterds. Priceless and funny!

The Bumbles said...

I thought Pitt's most comical accent was his Irish one in Snatch - no one could understand a word he was saying! Hysterical.

Love sweet Sassy's photo in your header :0)

Ruth said...

Ha! I agree with Sandy, this takes serious brain power to come up with these. And who knew all that about the New Orleans accent?

I agree, Pitt was great in "Inglorious Basterds" with his fake accent.

I confess I do not know the different nuances of Southern accents. I do know I loved my dad's and aunt's and uncle's from Virginia. So graceful.

And yours is awfully sweet, just a tinge. :)

Susan said...

Judy, I'm glad I brought a smile to your lovely face today! :)

Susan said...

Wanda, I can understand your son having a crush on Meg...I had a bit of a girl crush on her myself. ;).

Brad probably got dialect lessons from George...they're best buddies in real life.:)

Susan said...

Gal, that was definitely a low point in Mickey Rooney's career.

Susan said...

Lindsey, I loved that movie, as crass and unbelievable as it was. I think I'll watch it again to see if I still like it, or if I was just in a weird mood. LOL

Susan said...

Molly, I probably would have used Snatch, but I haven't seen it, only clips. Brad definitely likes to play against the pretty-boy type, doesn't he?

Doesn't Sassy look queenly in that pic? I've had it there for a few weeks and you're the only person who has noticed!

Susan said...

Now, Ruthie, you know my brain isn't that good! I've seen them all, but I had to jog my memory just a tad with Mr. Internet's assistance.

Southern accents fascinate me and how each state has it's own version, including some states that you don't think of as southern. Having grown up in southern Ohio, I had a little bit of Kentucky and a little bit of West Virginia in mine. Most of it has been homogenized out of me though, after moving around the country, and purposely trying NOT to sound like a hillbilly hick. I can still lay it on thick, if the occasion arises. haha

Cindy said...

I love a good accent, but you are spot on about these not-so-good ones. Mickey Rooney was the worst! I always think his part should be edited out completely. Remember Dick Van Dyke as the chimney sweep in Mary Poppins? Yikes! That was an accent with a high cringe factor for me!

Oliag said...

Mickey Rooney ruins the whole movie Breakfast at Tiffany's for me! He just makes me cringe in that!

As for Dennis Quaid...Oh yes!

culdesacchronicles said...

I luv me some Dennis Quaid.
Clever post.

Susan said...

Cindy, I just try to overlook the scenes with MR, or fast forward through them. Dick Van Dyke's Cockney accent was pretty awful, but his dancing was top-notch. :)

Susan said...

Oliag, right on! Dennis is very cute-sexy. I've loved most of his movies. Didn't care so much for the gay roles...not that I'm homophobic...just that I couldn't fantasize about him as well. Ha!

Susan said...

Bella, what's not to love? Cutie-pie! I just want to run my fingers through his hair. :)

Dutchbaby said...

I think Mickey Rooney's cringe factor needs to be promoted to 5 stars or more. His performance is the only blemish on an otherwise perfect movie.

Dennis Quaid is half Cajun, so I assumed he was from NOLA. I don't remember his accent; I was too busy swooning. I have a weakness for Cajuns - I sleep with one every night.

I can't think of an accent I love to hate right now, but I love Hugh Laurie's American accent on "House". The first time I heard him on a talk show, I about fell out of my chair.

Susan said...

Dutchbaby, the thing that most people don't realize is that Cajun is a whole lot different than New Orleans. The accent is similar, but, really, worlds apart. In fact, when we lived in Baton Rouge, David worked across the Mississippi River in the eastern edge of Cajun country. The accents of some of the people in the plant were so strong that I had a hard time understanding them. They have their own patois in the bayou.

I don't think there's too much not to like about Dennis!