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