Friday (Least) Favorites: Boston Accents in TV/Movies

Flipping the Friday Favorites on its head here, because I’ve wanted to do this for a while now.

It’s hard to write my thoughts about the Boston accent and how it’s portrayed. My biggest problem with it is that just because a movie/show is in or about Boston, why does practically every character have to have an accent? Of course everybody knows about dropping the R’s and that’s one thing you can do or can’t, but the thing is, it’s not every R! You don’t have to act like it’s not in the alphabet, we do say it when really needed, just kind of don’t bother when it’s at the end of a word. But what pisses me off the most is the way some of them change the word “you”. They drag it out, it’s hard to describe, but I know it when I hear it. And this made up “-aw” sound they put in words too. Like in the word “force” they come out sounding like “fawce” and I can’t stand that.

Anyways, I present to you my Least Favorite Boston Accents in TV/Movies in no particular order

  • Blake Lively in The Town. I know people who think this is the worst one, but I also have heard people say it’s not that bad. Those people are wrong. It’s gawdawful. I read that her hairdresser from Gossip Girl was from Dorchester and before trying out for The Town, she hung out with her so much to get the accent down. Sure, that could be true, but I hope to God I’m never in the same room with that woman.
  • Wife in Ray Donovan. Cringe-worthy. It was most brutal when she (possible spoiler!) traveled back to Boston and spent time with her sister and niece – two more terrible accents in that show. The guys from the fish/whale video should be invited on set of Ray Donovan and just put on a clinic of how to talk in a Boston accent.
  • Diane Lane in Perfect Storm. Bet you forgot about her because you haven’t seen the movie since it came out. Not really sure what accent she’s going for, like a North Shore accent or a city accent (yes, they differ), but she fails regardless.
  • Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can. I don’t remember it being so bad when I first saw it, but it was recently on TV and within 5 minutes I saw/heard all I needed to see/hear. As a matter of fact, they don’t even mention his character being from Boston, so you ask yourself- why is he talking like that? Too bad, too, because Hanks is a great actor but he’s just trying wayyy too hard with it.
  • The Cast of Southie. Do I shit on this movie too much? Not enough, you say? Well then, let me continue. Just everyone involved in this: The mom, the sister, Will Arnett. Hell even Donnie, Boston’s-boy, seems like he’s faking it.
  • The Mayor in Get On Up. Now this is actually based on a real person, former Boston Mayor, Kevin White. I don’t know what Mayor White sounded like, but this couldn’t have been it. This is a brutal imitation, even if he did have his own strong accent. And yes, it is a very, very small part of the movie, but I wasn’t a fan and it immediately got put on this list! (Couldn’t find a clip)
  • Julianne Moore in 30 Rock. This one is really, really bad. I can’t say it’s the worst, because she wasn’t a huge role, and was only a guest appearance in the later seasons. Either way, it’s certainly not good, even though she went to school at BU! I will say though, the more I think about it, the more I think she might just be doing a ridiculous accent on purpose, it is a comedy show after all.

That’s all I got. Did I miss anyone? Obviously I wasn’t gunna break down every Boston accent portrayed in a movie or show, but this is the list I’ve been keeping for a time now.

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