30 Delightfully Strange Foreign Titles for American Movies
Would you rather watch Bad Santa or Santa Is a Pervert? What sounds more appealing: No Strings Attached or something called Sex Friends?
I thought so.
Welcome to the wonderful world of strange foreign titles for American movies. Modern Hollywood films are made for a global audience, but sometimes their titles don’t translate perfectly to all markets. When that happens, familiar movies can wind up with very unfamiliar (and hilarious) names. Occasionally those names are nonsensical, but once in a while they are a drastic improvement over the original. Step Up: All In? I mean, that’s fine. But Sexy Dance 5: All in Vegas? That’s a hit! Where do I buy my ticket?
If you search for examples of these online, the ones you find aren’t always accurate. In 1998, The New York Times published a piece on funny foreign titles for American movies. A few weeks later, the Times published a lengthy correction, acknowledging that a lot of the titles in their article were actually invented by a satirical website (like I’m Drunk and You’re a Prostitute for Leaving Las Vegas and Help! My Pretend Boyfriend Is Gay for My Best Friend’s Wedding). Almost 20 years later, both of those totally fake foreign titles routinely show up on lists that cover this topic.
The 30 titles in our gallery are legit (although my translations may not be perfect; my German is really rusty). These movies were really sold with these titles. And with good reason; because no one in their right mind would say no to Sexy Dance 5: All in Vegas. I wish I was watching that movie right now.