Thursday, February 3, 2011
May I borrow a word?
Note: From Prada to Nada snuck up on me and came out last Friday. Shoot. I could have written this post then instead of my wordless dismissal of The Rite.
When I saw that there was a movie called From Prada to Nada coming out, I thought two things:
1) "That's sort of a clever title."
2) "Any box office it gets, it will owe to The Devil Wears Prada."
It's not a new trick to "borrow" one of the words in the title of a popular movie -- especially if the borrower is from the same genre -- to help create awareness about the borrower, which tends to be an underdog. This occurs in its most extreme form with mockbusters, discussed here. These are essentially blatant attempts to fool the public, such as trying to convince them that the straight-to-DVD movie The DaVinci Treasure is actually Ron Howard's The DaVinci Code.
But more legitimate films do it all the time, sometimes in ways that are covert enough not to draw suspicion (except in bloggers like me who have nothing better to do). For example, I felt pretty certain that the original British version of Death at a Funeral -- an ensemble set in England featuring a lot awkwardness and absurd shenanigans -- was a transparent attempt to capitalize on the name recognition of Four Weddings and a Funeral. Then there are the more obvious examples, like Sunshine Cleaning and Little Miss Sunshine (both films even starred Alan Arkin). Then there are the movies that seem like they're borrowing, but it's actually just a coincidence. Take District 13: Ultimatum. A blatant grab at the District 9 brand, right? Nope -- a sequel to District B-13, which came out in 2004.
So I thought that today, in honor of From Prada to Nada, I would try to present some other titles we might be seeing in the next year or two. Such as:
Ain't Nothing But a Slumdog
The Shirt Locker
Attack of the Avatars
The Iron Fist
The Social Contract
The Secret Life of Toys
It's Greek to Me
Some Like It Hot Tub
Question: Did I think I was going to come up with a funnier list of fake titles when I started this?