Hollywood is big business. American movies are seen around the entire globe, influencing culture and trends. Whether it’s in China, Germany, or Israel, in order to get moviegoers into theaters advertisers have to think about how to market a movie specific to their culture — and nothing plays a bigger role in that than the title.
Often, movie titles are simply left alone. In France, Star Wars is now simply known as “Star Wars,” rather than “Guerre des étoiles,” the literal translation. Sometimes though, neither leaving the name alone nor translating it directly make any sense, as in the case of Silver Linings Playbook, a title that’s somewhat confusing even to Anglophones. That leaves one option: a simpler English title.
And yet, whether in France, Italy, Argentina, or beyond, these English simplifications and clarifications tend to get “Lost in Translation,” which, by the way, is known as “Meetings and Failures in Meetings” in Portugal. Confusing stuff.
The Hangover: Very Bad Trip
Silver Linings Playbook: Happiness Therapy
No Strings Attached: Sex Friends
Step Up: Sexy Dance
Youth in Revolt: Be Bad
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: If You Leave Me, I Delete You
The Producers: Please Do Not Touch the Old Women
As Good as It Gets: Mr. Cat Poop
Pretty Woman: I Will Marry a Prostitute to Save Money
Risky Business: Just Send Him to University Unqualified
The Sixth Sense: He’s a Ghost!
American Pie: American Virgin Man
Boogie Nights: His Great Device Makes Him Famous
Fargo: Mysterious Murder in Snowy Cream
Knocked Up: Slightly Pregnant
Top Gun: Love is in the Sky
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Rain of Falafel
Dodgeball: Full of the Nuts
Annie Hall: The Urban Neurotic
Airplane!: The Unbelievable Trip in a Wacky Airplane
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: The Boy Who Drowned in Chocolate Sauce
Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me: Austin Powers: The Spy Who Behaved Very Nicely around Me
Due Date: Odd Couple, Wacky Trip, Go Together in Time for Birth