I have some great friends who hail from the UK, and I love them dearly, but one too many times I’ve been subjected to these friends, and some mere acquaintances, railing about American actors who don British accents for a part and fail miserably in the ears of anyone native. It’s not that I don’t agree, but the rant is a little old hat at this point. Yes, we Americans suck at British accents, we’ll never understand the subtleties and complexities and we ought to be heartily ashamed.
But, my dear friends across the pond, I-35 runs North AND South ’cause y’all suck just as much at getting American accents down pat. I’ve heard the evidence.
Knowing that recognizing the bi-lateral nature of the situation will never be enough to actually end the ranting, we at It’s My TV, It’s My Peanut Butter have opted, instead, to recognize those from outside the US who attempt to emulate one of our numerous accents and fail miserably. If we can’t stop the butchering, we might as well celebrated it!
The benchmark for this failure was one we identified years ago. While watching Twister we couldn’t help but cringe at Cary Elwes’ attempt at, well, we think he was trying to do a Southern drawl, but the jury’s still out. It was obviously supposed to be some variant of a US accent, but instead it came off as what it was: a British guy trying to do an American accent. It grated on the ears and totally threw whatever suspended disbelief I had in the movie (which was admittedly very little) right into the swirling vortex of the CGI-tornado on screen. I’m not sure if this was meant to be some form of payback for American actors butchering accents over the years, or if it was just an example of how hard it is to really capture the dialect of a place you’ve never lived.
It takes guts to stink up an accent that much in front of so many, and for this, recognition is order. For” The Worst American Accent in a Feature Film”, our inaugural winner is Cary Elwes in Twister. Congratulations. Now, never try to be southern again, sir.