Writing More Wrongs: 10 Movie Titles with Bad Punctuation

With Oscar season in full swing, your Guru’s thoughts turn to movies. And to movie titles that are there to remind us that Hollywood needs your Guru as much as anyone, if not more. Sometimes, these mistakes only subtly change the meaning – other times, you have to laugh out loud at what they’re really saying.

1. Star Trek Into Darkness
What they’re trying to say: This is a Star Trek movie, in which the crew descends into the metaphorical darkness of evil, and perhaps the darkness of deep space.
What they’re really saying: This is a movie in which a celebrity goes on a long hike on a moonless night.

The right way: Star Trek: Into Darkness

2. Law Abiding Citizen
What they’re trying to say: This man takes obeying the law seriously.
What they’re really saying:  The law can abide some people; it can’t stand others.

The right way: Law-Abiding Citizen

3. The 40 Year-Old Virgin
What they’re trying to say: Here’s a guy who’s 40 years old and still a virgin.
What they’re really saying: There are 40 virgins (though they’ve left out the s) who haven’t even seen their second birthday yet. And what kind of world would it need to be specified that one-year-olds are virgins?!?

The right way: The 40-Year-Old Virgin

4. Two Weeks Notice
What they’re trying to say: She told him she would be leaving in two weeks.
What they’re really saying:  Two weeks notice what? Can weeks really notice anything?

The right way: Two Weeks’ Notice

5. My Big Fat Greek Wedding
What they’re trying to say: The story of my wedding is a convoluted story, mainly because of my traditional Greek family.
What they’re really saying: This is a movie about an obese couple on the edge of the Mediterranean.

The right way: My Big, Fat, Greek Wedding

6. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
What they’re trying to say: Who was responsible for framing a toon for a crime?
What they’re really saying:  Someone named Who (perhaps the band?) framed Roger Rabbit.

The right way: Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

7. Honey I Shrunk the Kids
What they’re trying to say: Honey, I accidentally made the kids smaller.
What they’re really saying: This is not the movie you thunk it was.

The right way: Honey, I’ve Shrunk the Kids

8. An Alan Smithee Film Burn Hollywood Burn
What they’re trying to say: Alan Smithee has made a film about the metaphorical burning of Hollywood.
What they’re really saying: “Sometimes it really helps to use punctuation otherwise no one can tell where one thought ends and the next one begins it’s such a nice day today I think I’ll go read a modernist novel or something oh look there goes a seagull.”

The right way: An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

 9. The Ladies Man
What they’re trying to say: This guy is irresistibly attractive to women.
What they’re really saying: This guy either works, or hangs out in, women’s restrooms.

The right way: The Ladies’ Man

10. Eight Legged Freaks
What they’re trying to say: This movie is about giant arachnids.
What they’re really saying: This movie is about eight freaks who have legs. Is that what makes them freaks? Doesn’t just about everyone have legs?

The right way:
Eight-Legged Freaks

Please let those moguls know that, for a very reasonable fee (and perhaps screen credit), your Guru is here to help.


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