Crazy, Sexy Sex: What’s the Weirdest Movie Title Translation You’ve Ever Seen?

Slate's Culture Blog
Feb. 16 2011 12:25 PM

Crazy, Sexy Sex: What’s the Weirdest Movie Title Translation You’ve Ever Seen?

My expat sisterrecently sent me a photo of the French advertisement for Jesse Eisenberg's

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, which isbeing

.The American film is yet another in a

of Eisenberg

vehicles, withthe hook this time being that the

SocialNetwork

star plays an Orthodox Jew turned ecstasy peddler. What's notableabout the French release, though, is the new English title that has beenconcocted:



/blogs/browbeat/2011/02/16/crazy_sexy_sex_what_s_the_weirdest_movie_title_translation_you_ve_ever_seen/jcr:content/body/slate_image


To an American Jew, Jewish Connection conjures up images of anonline dating alternative to JDate , orperhaps a twisted anti-Semitic conspiracy you might find on DavidDuke.com .But to a French audience that doesn't know the English expression "holyrollers," the new title sounds authentically American, while also telling themsomething about the film. ("Ah, Jewish means they wear funnyhats , and Connection is like that Gene Hackman movie about drugs .")

French distributors specializein crafting new titles for films when they don't think that their audience canhandle fairly common English idiomatic expressions. But rather than translatethese titles into French, they will often invent their own meaningless Englishexpressions that they think will ring truer to the country's moviegoers (notice above how The Hangover has been made into Very Bad Trip ). Unlike Jewish Connection , the new titles willmore often than not involve some combination of the words crazy , sexy , and sex . Natalie Portman's recently releasedromantic comedy No Strings Attached , forexample, was turned into SexFriends , seemingly based on the film's Americantagline .

When I was living inFrance myself, it felt like every month the Paris Metro would produce some newridiculous poster for a crazy, sexy American film with an inexplicably altered Englishtitle like Sexy Movie ( Date Movie ) or CrazyKung Fu ( Kung Fu Hustle ).

A quick search ofIMDB.fr and call-out to my Slate colleagues produced thesegems:

Coupling (the British TV series) —> Six Sexy

And perhaps mostperplexing of all, Crazy/Beautiful —> Sexy/Crazy

Sexand the City became Sexand the City: Le Film , though Crazy,Sexy Sex and the City: Le Film might have been more evocative.

Other countries,notably Germany , seem to makesimilar title changes on occasion, but we're not sure how prevalent thepractice is around the globe. Please help us by sending in examples of thesesorts of internationally massacred English titles, sexy, crazy, or otherwise(please send with IMDB link or some other independent confirmation). Post inthe comments below or email browbeatslate@gmail.com .If we get enough, we'll post the best ones in a follow-up.

Photograph by Valerie Stahl.

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