Monday, February 26, 2007

Worst Movie Accents of All Times

I am often amazed that there are big-name actors who are so verbally unskilled. After all, we left the silent film era behind almost a century ago. And yet, such actors abound in Hollywood! Some of these so-called actors are merely guilty of the crime of woodenly acting; mumbling a monotonous stream of dull lines. But others take it one step further and butcher our eardrums with horrendous accents.

If I were allowed to give out awards for The Worst Movie Accents of All Time, I would award the following:

1. Kevin Costner in "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves". A big applause for the man who dared to take on a lead role set in Ye Merrye Olde England, when it was most obvious that the closest he's come to the British Isles is at The Cat & Fiddle Pub in Hollywood.

2. Keanu Reeves in "Much Ado About Nothing". A secondary award should be granted to Kenneth Branagh, who apparently cast Keanu in the role of Don John in the hopes that the movie would appeal to a younger audience. This movie does have a rather humorous edge, since everyone else speaks with impeccable British accents except for Keanu, who seems to be reprising his role from "Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure". He got better, but not much better, in "Bram Stoker's Dracula".

3. Keanu Reeves again, in "The Devil's Advocate". This time Ted visits the Deep South and pretends to be a lawyer.

4. Jessica Simpson in "The Dukes of Hazzard". Perhaps because I've lived in the Deep South my entire life, I believe that Southern accents are easy to do. But apparently this "actor" had a rough time of it. I would like to know what accent she thinks she possesses. It's a caricature of an accent, at best. As one critic wrote, "her lines were delivered so stiffly that Viagra could learn a few things from her."

5. Kim Basinger in "8 Mile". Kim seems to have the same voice coach that Jessica has. Apparently Hollywood labors under the misconception that if you're white trash, you have a bad southern accent. The truth is, white trash resides throughout the country and speaks in multiple dialects. Happily, Kim is a poor actor anyway, so her reputation was not lessened whatsoever.

6. Dick Van Dyke in "Mary Poppins". Poor Dick. He already suffers from a Double Name Faux Pas that would never have made it to Hollywood in modern times. Although he was charming, his accent simply wasn't. He is solely responsible for my high school drama teacher's ban of all "British" accents in our drama class.

There are other actors who try their best and do their worst at regional accents. However, these 6 examples really top the list.

I think that it's time for Hollywood to cash in on these poor performers. We need to unite these actors together in one film. It doesn't really matter what sort of plot the film has, although comedy is mandatory. I suggest a remake of "BJ and the Bear", with everyone doing the accent that they're most infamous for. This could be the Ultimate Movie: A movie SO awful that it's fabulous.


Matt said...

How about something about what you DO like?

I need recommendations.

Ed Abbey said...

What amazes me most are the British actors that do American accents and do it flawlessly. Then I hear them speak naturally like at award shows and I'm amazed that it is even the same person. I guess Americans just are lingually impaired.

R2K said...

Hey I am working on new templates. Please visit me and leave a comment. Do you like the new template? Hate it? Any suggestions? What do you like in a template?


Anonymous said...

The odd thing about Jessica Simpson is she is from the South, Lousiana I believe, but what it all comes down to is she is a terrible actress. They need to stop putting her in movies. Keanue Reeves is also a pretty bad actor, he's done some decent movies, but he really is only capable of a few personas. This also reminds me of David Caruso, I had never really seen him in anything until CSI and didn't realize how bad of an actor he was until it was time for him to do something other than police. Now I really can't stand him, as I used to think he was OK. Speaking of accents, how do you think Renee Zellweger does in the Bridget Jones movies? Especially since there is such controversy over her playing that part.


The Lazy Iguana said...

You forgot about EVERYBODY in "The Last Temptation Of Christ". Lord that movie sucked! I rented it from Netflix because the former Pope told me not to watch it, and I missed it in the theaters.

It was the worst movie of all time. To start with it was boring as hell. Actually that is an insult to hell. Hell may be a very exciting place IF you have a room with AC, cold running water and you are a POKER and not a POKEE.

If you want to believe that Jesus and his merry men all had terrible New York accents - the movie is for you. Fagettaboutit.

Also Jodie Foster in Silence Of The Lambs. She kept slipping in and out of her weak redneck accent.

OldHorsetailSnake said...

How about three of them doing their British accents in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." That would crack me up.

Three Score and Ten or more said...

I had a young actress playing Alais (French princess) in the British court of THE LION IN WINTER, (playwrights have all British royalty speak British even when their native language was French). She simply couldn't overcome her own southern accent, but I couldn't recast her. Finally I told her to just play the part and forget about the accent, we would assume that she was from the "South of France". Strangely enough, once she forgot to try to eliminate the accent, it became almost un-noticable in the otherwise well played character. As far as Keanu Reeves playing Don John, I was spared that, but actors and playgoers in and out of the U.S. have made "Shakespearean English" such a fraud. We don't know what the English language sounded like at that time, but most students of linguistics have come to the conclusion that it was much closer to the English pronunciation of a current Society Lady of Charleston South Carolina than modern day "British English"

Kathleen said...

Or, how about The Godfather?

Great post! I love a good laugh.

Anonymous said...

Four words: Rob Morrow, QUIZ SHOW.