Two of my all-time favorite movie titles are I Dismember Mama, which was used for a 1974 slasher film, and The Importance of Being Ernest, the title of a script for a Jim Varney “Ernest” film that was unfortunately not used. And I’ve always loved Out of the Past, the quietly haunting title of Jacques Tourneur‘s legendary 1947 noir with Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer.
I’m also partial to Se7en, Freddie Got Fingered, Platoon and Earth Girls Are Easy because they make the movies sound like they pretty much know exactly who and what they are.
But I strongly disliked Something’s Gotta Give, the name of Nancy Meyers’ 2003 romantic comedy with Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson, because any film using a Johnny Mercer song title, I figured, will almost certainly be “schmaltzy,” “staid,” “overly insulated,” etc. Which the movie was, of course..
Nonetheless, Josh Friedman‘s L.A. Times profile of Seth Lockhart and Jamil Barrie, the co-owners of TitleDoctors, suggests that Something’s Got to Give — a title apparently originated by the Ant Farm’s Andy Solomon — was one of the great movie-title decisions so far because the film went on to earn $267 million, and that the title “probably didn’t hurt.” Well, it did hurt with guys like me. I’m just saying.
The piece says that an alternate title that was kicked around for Will Smith‘s Hancock was Tonight He Comes. (And comes and comes.)
The worst titles of all time? The Human Stain, WUSA, To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar, The Silver Chalice, Eegah, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.