I understand the need to do it. Honestly, I do. I understand that advertising executives and the heads of movie studios want their titles to look “clean.” I understand that, when thinking about internet searches, publishers look for titles that aren’t bogged down by commas, apostrophes, and other pesky punctuation. I understand that, when driving quickly past a billboard, it’s easier to absorb the title when it doesn’t look like a complete sentence.
But, damn it, as a writer with an interest in grammar – and the rules therein – I am personally irked to no end when a movie title leaves out a vital piece of punctuation.
I’m not talking about films that use colloquialisms or that deliberately misuse English for dramatic effects. Films like You Got Served, She Hate Me, Can’t Hardly Wait, Lilya 4-Ever, or, I dunno, Biker Boyz don’t bother me. I also don’t object to extreme stylization of titles like L!fe Happens or the editor’s nightmare that is I ❤ Huckabees – although I will always spell it “Seven,” and not the preferred “Se7en.”
I’m talking about the films that seem ignorant of the way punctuation works, and try to sell a deliberately incorrect title to the world. We brought up this topic on last week’s episode of The B-Movies Podcast and passions ran high. We needed to expand on the topic. Here are 18 movie titles that drive grammarians crazy.
17 Movie Titles With Embarrassing Grammar
Top Image: Touchstone
Witney Seibold is a longtime contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon. He also contributes to Legion of Leia and to Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.