The WORST fake English accents: Why don’t they just hire British actors to play British characters??

I’m at the stage at my stay here in the UK that I don’t really hear the British accent anymore.  Unless it’s a strong local-y sounding one (Yorkshire, Bristol, Scouse, Geordie), it washes right over me.

But when they hire an American, an Irish person or an Australian to play a Brit – OH! – Mine ears, they do tremble.  Why don’t they just hire Brits??  Especially since they’re cheap labour

I’ve been doing some Googling to find some evidence, and I’ve come up with the following 3 heinous examples:

Anne Hathaway in One Day

Bless her heart, I love Anne Hathaway in almost everything she ever touches (yes, this includes the Princess Diaries 2).  But how can I keep track of what’s going on in a film with this strange Ameri-cockney-yorkshire accent beast staring me down?

Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta

I’m also a huge lover of Natalie Portman – she’s a freaking genius and most things she touches turn to golden box office successes.  But her ACCENT!  Ohmygee, her accent.  That’ll be ten Pledge of Allegiances and a whole cheese pizza as penance, Nat-Port.

Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins

No list of crappest-Brit-accents would be complete without Dickie-boo!

I love this movie.  MY GOD, I love this movie.   I live in eternal hope that one day I’ll find a handbag big enough to keep a floor lamp in.  But Dick Van Dyke really set the bar in terms of heinous accents.  It doesn’t ruin the over all movie for me, though – probably because it’s all so cartoony and his accent is, too.


Part of me gets it.  Directors have a specific actor in mind and they bring them in regardless of their stubborn American twang.  It’s distracting, though – there’s nowt to be done about it!

I know it isn’t a one-way train.  There are plenty of Brits doing heinous American accents out there (except for Hugh Laurie, of course.  He sounds more American than I do), but for some reason I don’t tend to find bad American accents as distracting.  Now that I mention it, I should give a shout out Gweneth Paltrow who throws a seriously excellent English accent in my opinion.

What about you guys?  Can you stand it?  Have I missed any obvious ‘worst English accent ever’ candidates?  Or what about bad American accents?  I can’t think of any off the top of my head…

 

Me and Crocodile Dundee… two of a kind.

yankeebeanI’m sitting in front of Crocodile Dundee right now (yes, on a Friday night, but it’s been a bastard of a week and I’m knackered) – and I’m feeling the strangest of emotions…

Empathy.

I am EMPATHISING with Mick the man from Walkabout Creek – how bizarre…

I musta been about 8 years old when I first saw this movie and I remember thinking that it was HILARIOUS.  I’m sure you all remember the line:

That’s not a knife… THIS is knife…

(And if you don’t, get thee to your aging VHS collection and dust that shizzle off!)

But one of the key ingredients of this flick is that Mick keeps saying Aussie / bush things and New Yorkers laugh in his face.  The darker side of 80′s film making ;)

Now, as an expat (or ‘shamerican’ – more on that all-star term later), living in a strange-and-foreign land (kidding, kidding, chill out peeps) – I’m finding new depths to the bloody movie Crocodile Dundee…

Strewth, you learn something new every day…

Christmas movies – an English myth

yankeebeanI’ve been keeping an eye on the TV guide this Christmas so I can see all the classic Christmas movies.  Wait, no, I’ve been keeping an eye on the TV guide since TWO THOUSAND AND FIVE so I can see all the classic Christmas movies.

Where are they???  Where’s Rudolph?  Frosty?  Charlie Brown with his sad-but-triumphant-tree?  Garfield?  Bing Crosby in White Christmas?  Jimmy Stuart in It’s a Wonderful Life?  The Grinch?  The Muppets?  How can be Christmas without the Muppet’s classic line “Light the lamp, not the rat!  Light the lamp, not the rat!!”?

christmas_moviesAnd there’s plenty more where that came from…

Sometimes I think I paint my American memories with a big sparkly silver lining (especially this time of year), but I swear you couldn’t turn on the TV after December 1st in America without being accosted by something Christmassy.  (And I say this as good thing)

I didn’t realize until this year how much I missed it, especially a the Muppet’s Christmas Carol and White Christmas… oh, and Linus’ speech in ‘It’s Christmas, Charlie Brown’…

I guess if I step back and look at the situation, it’s not surprising.  It’s just a different scene.  In  general, English people don’t like cheese, sop, or cheer in large quantities and those are the 3 main ingredients of any good Christmas movie experience.

It seems like people would rather watch a news brief about the Lapland fiasco than sit down in front of a sparkley 1950′s musical extravaganza.  (Image this next part with lots of echo, like in a big cave) - nooooooooooooooooo!!!!

I’m surprised they don’t show It’s A Wonderful Life, though… it’s essentially a long drawn-out suicide-attempt filled with despair, but with a really happy ending.

But I have that one on DVD anyway…