When movies are distributed abroad, they’re often given foreign language titles that aren’t just direct translations of the American title. Sure. Know your audience, or whatever. But for some reason, in France, they give them new titles but still in English? It is my favorite thing. One time I was in France and the movie Cruel Intentions was in theaters but as Sex Intentions, which is my favorite thing ever. It’s just a better title! There were also movie posters up (or as the French call them, Freedom Posters) for Can’t Hardly Wait but in France it was called Big Party. Incredible. So so funny. Those are both in my LOLk and they have been appreciating nicely. And now there is this:

Haha. It’s true! That trip did not go very smoothly at all! (Via CCInsider.)

Comments (30)
  1. So… Best New Party Game 5? Or is this the same as Best New Party Game 3?

  2. Funnier than “Very Bad Trip“:
    1. the tagline that both references “they came, they saw, they conquered” (“they came, they drank, they didn’t remember anything”) AND rhymes (“venus,” “bu,” “plus”)
    2. the fact that apparently the French term for “open bar” is “open barre”

  3. My favorite: In France, “Not Another Teen Movie” became “Not Another Stupid American Movie.” So true.

  4. I remember “What Happens in Vegas” was called Jackpot. It both makes sense (because that slogan means nothing outside of the US) and makes no sense (because that movie is the farthest thing from a jackpot ever)

  5. In France, “Wild Things” was called “Sex Crimes.” Bullseye, France.

  6. The French versions of the Big Brother tv series were called Loft Story and Secret Story, which I thought were both pretty stupid titles. But the Indian version is called Bigg Boss, which is basically the best title ever.

  7. dre  |   Posted on Jun 18th, 2009 +13

    i am french and i will give an explanation: in my opinion they do change the movie title because people who dont speak very well english dont understand the word “hangover” , its not basic english; as for very bad trip, we use that expression so people can relate to the title
    this one is not so bad , actually its when they try to translate in french that we get horrible movie name (the worst was “maid of honnor” which was translated in ” le témoin amoureux” (the maid in love) )

  8. China are also awesome at this.
    G.I. Jane — Satan Female Soldier
    Boogie Nights — His Powerful Device Makes Him Famous
    and my personal favorite:

    Risky Business — Just Send Him To University Unqualified

  9. Step Up 2 was “Sexy Dance”

  10. Trnslation of ‘movie poster’ is brilliant. Absolutely brilliant

  11. herrorara  |   Posted on Jun 18th, 2009 +20

    The Cruel Intentions one is great. That gets double lols because Cruel Intentions was based on the movie Dangerous Liasons which in turn was based on the French book “Les Liasons Dangereuses.” The French are like their own babelfish.

    • chrischke  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2009 +8

      i’m from germany and people here make up wonderful stylecrimes regarding movie titles as well. especially when there’s no literal translation e.g. because it is a play on words that does not translate, german studio executives love to come up with either something extremely generic or something quite far out there. in this case with “cruel intentions”, the german title is “eiskalte engel”, which translates as “ice-cold angels”. which in this case takes even another turn, because “ice-cold” would be a literal translation of the word “eiskalt”, but the second meaning which is probably the one they were actually going for “ruthless”. life is confusing.

      • I used to work with a woman who translated TV show dialogue into German (for subtitling and dubbing), and she said Germans generally don’t find “The Simpsons” very funny because so much of the wordplay is impossible to translate.

  12. Mezzy  |   Posted on Jun 18th, 2009 +7

    I read somewhere that “As Good As It Gets” was re-titled: “Mr. Cat Poop” in China.

  13. my favorite movie titles in france
    home alone – mom i missed the plane
    home alone 2 – mom i missed the plane…again.

  14. RIch  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2009 +4

    Don’t forget “Ne Touchez Pas Mon Periscope” with Kelsey Grammer and Rob Schneider….

  15. The French term for open bar isn’t “open barre”, “une open barre de rire” is a pun on “open bar” and “se taper une barre” (which I guess would translate by “to hit a bar” or “to fuck a bar”, yeah…) which means that we have lots of fun…

  16. also, the only thing worse than this poster is the poster for just about any large-budget french comedy. “coco”? “cyprien”? ugh.

  17. I have it on good authority that Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle is called Harold and Kumar Get the Munchies in France. BAM.

  18. d-w  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2009 +2

    Had a Greek friend in college who told me of the following Greek movie translation titles:

    Naked Gun = Crazy Bullets

    Laurel and Hardy = Fat and Skinny

    Victory (the WW2 movie starring Stallone, Michael Kane and Pele) = The Escape of the 11 (effectively giving away the ending…)

    The Dirty Dozen = All 12 of Them Were Assholes

  19. katie1421  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2009 0

    I remember seeing that The Other Boleyn Girl was called “Two Sisters for Only One King!” or something like that.

  20. Anon  |   Posted on Jun 19th, 2009 +1

    Maybe the French are commenting on the plot similarity to “Very Bad Things” with a slight ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ deviation…

  21. cschack  |   Posted on Jun 23rd, 2009 +1

    Same thing here in Norway. If the movies just got new titles in Norwegian, that’d be one thing, but they often get a new English name. And usually, it’s not even some fun, idiosyncratic new name either. The earliest example I can remember is “Adventures in Babysitting” which became “A Night on the Town”. “Six-String Samurai” became “Samurai Sword” and got a horrible Photoshop rush job by way of cover image to boot. “Gigli” became something else entirely (but seeing how it bombed, the film importer obviously tried polishing that turd any way possible). “Fever pitch” was never renamed in the first place (even though the book was, and appropriately), so when the US remake was released, a lot of people ended up renting the original British version instead, but in that case, it was definite boon.

    I won’t even start on the many egregious translations you find in subtitles, but suffice it to say that I saw “Menace to Society” in the theater way back when and “F*ck you, motherf*cker” somehow metamorphosed into the by now immortal line “Pee in my ear, you turd.” Good times!

  22. Good stuff. You?re right about the translations giving away the ending.. Is that really necessary? Here?s another blog with some more examples:

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