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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Against my better judgement...(accent talk)

Watched the romantic-comedy The Ugly Truth last night. First and foremost, I have to say the movie was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. Gerard Butler maintains his status as a good egg, but I hate when actors that are so obviously foreign and have badass accents try to sound American. The man sounded like an absolute dufus, and I do not use that term lightly. Butler is still a man's man in my book, but that accent...terrible. From the trailers I've seen for The Bounty Hunter, another romantic comedy co-starring with Jennifer Aniston, he also has a damn American accent. WHY?! Is it that necessary to the plot of these movies that he be born and bred in the damned United States? Fuck dude, it ruins everything. But anyways, The Ugly Truth had some hilarious moments. Butler's character was like Tom Cruise in Magnolia, cock-sure, sexist, and such a dick you have to love him. He has a show where he speaks the "truth" about men and women, and his sassy female producer doesn't like him, but needs him for ratings. Rather predictably, they eventually fall in love with each other. Blah blah blah, penis joke, orgasm, and masturbation reference and then the movie is over. Not a total waste of time, but I'd probably never watch it again.

I'm sorry, but I can't get over the accent thing. I've seen at least 2 movies with one of my favorite actors, Sean Bean, where he has to fake an American accent. It makes the movie automatically terrible. I don't mind Europeans doing other European accents, like and English guy doing a German accent, those are believable, but ours does not translate well. Hank Azaria is one of the few actors who can really pull off any accent, mostly because the man can imitate anything he wants. Also, the actors that are in those Christopher Guest movies are pretty fantastic. But serious actors cannot do it. It is so rare these days. Fake voices are a thing of the past my friends, and that saddens me.

The most recent pinnacle of weird and successful characters with accents is Val Kilmer's performance in The Saint. Most people hate him and the movie, but he plays about 5 or 6 characters with different accents each, and they all rock, especially his gay Russian. Peter Sellers is also up there. Scratch that, he is definitely number one. Dr. Strangelove and The Magic Christian are amazing films with Sellers being several distinct people. If you want to count his performance as Inspector Clouseau you can, but his talent goes way beyond those films.

I told a lie, Hugh Jackman's American accent is dead on and I have never questioned his validity in a movie because of it. Fantastic voice work on that man's part. He's more American than half of us. On that note, I found 3 other actors who deserve props for their accent work in some films: Willem Dafoe as Klaus in The Life Aquatic, Brad Pitt as Mickey in Snatch, and Robert Downey Jr. as Sherlock Holmes. Fantastic on all accounts. Kudos men, kudos.

I'm sure I'm missing tons, but the point is that is uncommon to find quality accent work nowadays. Johnny Depp doesn't count in case you were wondering, seeing as he does almost identical voices for all his characters these days. I suppose Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas could count, but still, not that amazing. With that, I say good night to you, and analyze those accents.

1 comment:

  1. Matt Damon is quite good at accents usually.
    Mel Gibson is outstanding with accents, but he's been in America so long his Aussie accent is long gone. Russell Crowe hides his accent flawlessly. Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, and obviously Meryl Streep does an unreal job with accents. There are others, but I'm giving props to these folks only

    Worst accent ever: Nic Cage, CONAIR. Just a total shitshow.