What’s in a name?
DVD goes in. Preview starts.
Rated “R”. Alright.
British guy from “Snatch” and “Transporter”…what’s his name? Dunno. Don’t recognize the main guy. White guy, American. Something about drugs. Flashy montage, bing, bang boom. American guy’s ex going to a party he’s supplying. British guy’s there. Few girls. Drugs. Tension. Blah blah—ooh, Jessica Biel’s in it too, and Dane Cook? Hrmm, heh, looks kind of funny. What is this flick? “Some ends are only the beginning.” Uggh, but alright…what’s the title?
Wait…that’s it? “London?”
You can’t name a film “London.” You just can’t do that. You can’t boil down the whole culture, history, and significance of one of the world’s premiere cities and slap it on a film. You can’t lay claim to all that in a movie. What the…?
Is the character’s name “London?” I’d buy that. Maybe the dog? Maybe the girl? No? Not the movie. Don’t try to capture the essence—or really, try to trick us into thinking you can capture the essence of the capital of the United Kingdom in this little movie about guys and girls and drugs and sex.
“The Queen”—a recent movie, telling the story about a significant moment in modern British history, involving the Queen. It needed to capture the scope, the majesty and the history of the monarchy—thus the need for such a succinct and blunt title.
But this? Seriously. I’m bothered. I’m going to have to write a letter. “Thank you! Thank you! We really don’t need any more movies about London. Go ahead and take the name. We’ll be fine. We’ll leave some other chap to figure a title for his future work. In fact, the historical documentary, chronicling the founding and flourishing of the UK’s capital, needed a better title anyway—something longer, such as ‘London: Not the One About the American Kids, but More About the City Itself.'”
Who does that—just comes out of a meeting with the script writers and throws that title down? “Call it ‘London.’ It’s edgy. It’s hip.” You’re a doofus.
…oh, wait, the girls’ name IS “London?” Ah, disregard. Carry on. (Thank God for Internet Movie Database…saves me from mouthing off on this stuff in public and making a menace of myself).
Still, in all seriousness, how about “Winning London” or some such, but not something that’s going to pop up on Google when the kids are doing their Social Studies homework.
Stories need small titles. That way they can be married off to the specific dramatic circumstance and sent on their way when the credits roll. How many people do you know named “Human,” “Man” or “The Human Race?” Seriously, it’s a bit much—a bit too sweeping of a title. “Hi, I’m Joshua Human. No need to meet anyone else. I’m good. Just sit and look at me.”
No, that’s why we have our little names, so people can see us and remember us if they want to. The same should apply to stories.
I don’t call this “blog.” I don’t call this “entry.” Put some blasted thought into things! Otherwise, just call every movie “Love” or “Fighting” or “Earth” or “Story.”