The French have a strange habit of changing English-language movie names to different English-language titles.
So, for example, The Hangover became Very Bad Trip for its France release.
Strange, sure. But far from the strangest.
In fact, we noticed that the French translation team seems to have an unusual affinity for the word “sex”.
So Euro Trip, for example, became Sex Trip.
Wild Things, meanwhile, became Sex Crimes.
Sometimes the translators didn't even really try…
… at all.
But it's not just “sex”. The French movie re-namers also seem to love the word “crazy”, as seen below.
And Trainwreck became Crazy Amy…
Sometimes it goes a step further and brings in full-blown orgies.
So why are the French doing this?
Our theory is that many of the renamed films are destined to be Z-list flops, and that the French teams are desperate to “sex them up” to improve the sales.
French film expert Judith Prescott, who runs the site French Cinema Review, says she thinks the new titles are there to tell the French market “what to expect in three words or less”.
“Sex sells and so it's not surprising that so many movies include 'sex' in the title,” she tells The Local.
“In the same way, putting the word 'crazy' in the title signals to French audiences a madcap, fun, romp of a movie, likewise the word 'very' suggests cool, funny, buddy movie like Very Bad Trip for The Hangover or Very Bad Cop for The Other Guys.
“It's a form of cinematic shorthand, but the French should shy away from reinforcing national stereotypes n'est-ce pas?”
Manon Kerjean, meanwhile, who runs the Lost in Frenchlation movie screenings in Paris, says the changed titles reflect French people's approach to the English language.
“I think it's funny although it proves that the French are a little bit lazy with English and with languages in general,” she tells The Local.
“I think it's good if it makes French people identify more easily with the film and if as a result they go to the cinema more.
“But I think it's also a little bit embarrassing in the sense that they need to modify the language to be able to understand it instead of opening up to the English culture and learning the language more thoroughly.”
Explain it however you like, but there's no denying that there is a strong tendency to get sex in movie titles. Like this one.
Even the cover image of the film below got extremely sex-ified.
And why call a movie “Shortcut to Happiness” when you can call it “Sexy Devil”?
Sometimes it seems the French just take out words to add “sex” instead.
The film below went for “Sexy Therapy” instead of the more predictable “Sex Therapy”…
But that's only because Sex Therapy existed…
Anyway, as we said, it's not all sex and craziness. Sometimes the French have just picked some interesting choices for new film names. Here are a few favourites.
But who are we kidding? The best ones are the ones with a random “sex” in the title.
See a whole lot more of the bizarre translations on the Pardon My Titres website here.