He did? Get game? Or does that mean he has got game — currently — whatever “game”-without-an-article means? As in, “He’s got that thing called game”? Or did he get that article-less game last week, on the same night that he got milk? Maybe it becomes apparent when you see the movie (which I had the chance to do this evening when it popped up on my TV guide), but I think we can safely say that its title lacks clarity — unless game is an abstract quality that he acquired some time in the recent past…
Here are 15 other movie titles that could have done with a good edit. If you can’t work out where they went wrong, check out their copy-edited versions below.
1. Honey I Shrunk the Kids: Do you mean you shrank them a while back, or that you have recently shrunk them? Maybe you drunk too much wine before you begun to shrink stuff … (See Glossophilia’s earlier post on this and other dodgy past participles.)
2. Grown Ups: What does an “up” look like when it’s not grown? Are there infant ups?
3. Law Abiding Citizen: Unless Law (maybe Jude?) has decided he was tolerating citizen after all, there’s a rule-abiding fail here of the spelling kind …
4. Burn Hollywood Burn: How can you burn a burn, especially if it’s of the Hollywood kind?
5. Two Weeks Notice: They do? They notice what? That they’re missing an apostrophe?
6. Couples Retreat: They do? Does every couple do that, or just those featured in this movie?
7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Can you see a question mark anywhere
8. Wish I Was Here: And I bet you wish you knew how to use the subjunctive …
9. Drive Angry: Is Angry going to the gym? He seems to need a ride … Please take him.
10. Million Dollar Baby: Are you describing or talking to Baby?
11. The 40 Year-Old Virgin: Let’s hope this isn’t about 40 innocent toddlers who’ve enjoyed only one birthday and were made singular by a missing ‘s’
12. Eight Legged Freaks: Those 8 freaks must be sober, assuming legged means the opposite of legless …
13. Can’t Hardly Wait: So … I guess you’re more patient than you thought you were?
14. Star Trek Into Darkness: I command thee, Mr. Celebrity, to walk into the shadows …
15. The Ladies Man: Is he the one who hangs out in the women’s restroom?
Now there’s another movie title that often doesn’t pass the punctuation smell test — but I’m inclined to take its big fat concept at face value and celebrate its comma-less correctness. My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Look, it’s a Greek wedding: it’s not just a wedding between two Greek people. It’s not a little Greek wedding, it’s big: but it’s not just a big Greek wedding that also happens to be fat. It’s a big fat Greek wedding. So there.
And these three don’t really count because the misspellings were deliberate — or so they’d have us believe …
The Pursuit of Happyness. Because that makes it seem more happy.
Biutiful. Because that makes it sound more Spanglish.
Inglourious Bastards. Because that makes it look more — er — glowering?
* * * * *
1. Honey I Shrank the Kids 2. Grown-Ups 3. Law-Abiding Citizen 4. Burn, Hollywood, Burn 5. Two Weeks’ Notice 6. Couples’ Retreat 7. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? 8. Wish I Were Here 9. Drive Angrily 10. Million-Dollar Baby 11. The 40-Year-Old Virgin 12. Eight-Legged Freaks 13. Can Hardly Wait 14. Star Trek: Into Darkness 15. The Ladies’ Man