Thursday, March 25, 2010

Profane movie titles and the women who say them...

I was recently invited to become a fan of the Facebook page "Intelligent, Classy, Well-Educated Women Who Say "F*ck" a Lot." I'm not a big fan of becoming a fan, but that made me laugh and got me thinking about movies with, shall we say, problematic titles... the kind the authors of Hollywood's 1927 production code must have had in mind when they specifically warned frisky filmmakers against using profanity in movie titles.

Not adult movies. And not movies like Damn Yankees! (1958) or That Darn Cat! (1965), because even back then those were words you could say under most circumstances and in most company without being branded a potty-mouthed pariah (except maybe in church with your great-grandma and some elderly nuns, and why would you want offend some nice old ladies anyway). Only real movies that got reviewed in mainstream publications counted.

Anyway, this is what I came up with:

Young People F*cking (2007), a Canadian comedy about looking for love in all the wrong places. It went straight to DVD in the US as YPF, thereby bypassing all potential editorial issues.

Baise Moi! (2000), which was one of a mini-wave of sexually explicit films designed to epater le bourgeois by forcing them to ponder the line between art and pornography. Ooh la la! The title literally means “F*ck Me,” but it was released in the US under the less offensive title Rape Me. Yes, someone thought “Rape Me” was the less offensive title. In New York it opened as Baise Moi! because, you know, anybody who speaks French no doubt has an enlightened attitude about that kind of thing.

Fucking Amal (1998), which is not about f*cking someone named Amal and thank God for that, because if there’s anything I hate it’s a gerund title. It’s about restless teens stuck in a boring Swedish town called Amal, as in, “I hate f*cking Amal.” Apparently Amal wasn’t boring enough, so most of the film was shot in nearby Trollhattan. I'd see "F*cking Trollhattan" before I'd see something with a wussy name like Show Me Love, which was F*cking Amal's US release title.

And I guess you have to include the coy, self-censoring titles.

Who the #$&% Is Jackson Pollock? (2006) is a documentary about a thrift store painting that may or may not be by Pollock – the good ol’ gal who paid $5.00 for the canvas at a thrift shop and asks the title question says f*ck a lot, especially when speculating about why snooty art-world types don’t take her or her f*cking painting seriously.

What the Bleep do We Know? (2004), a documentary about the mind-blowing intersection of quantum physics and faith, which I might have found more thought provoking if it hadn’t been underwritten by the nutty Ramtha cult.

And that's it for now...

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