' ' Cinema Romantico: Most Fun States to Say

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Most Fun States to Say

In his most recent NFL Jamboroo, the only NFL article I read in my new (and wonderful) abstention from that gridiron corporate cabal, specifically because it is so often not about the NFL at all, the legendary irascible Drew Magary ignored discussing the non-scintillating Jaguars v Cardinals match-up to instead discuss what state name was most fun to say. He chose Alabama, writing “Al-a-BAM!-a! I’ll order an Alabama slammer at the bar just so I can yell it.”

I see Magary’s point. I mean, listen to Gene Hackman or George Dzunda thunder “Alabama”, as in U.S.S. Alabama, in “Crimson Tide” and tell me your heart rate doesn’t pick up. But then, I might argue that Mississippi — MIH-sih-SIH-pee — is just as fun to say, though it oddly only clocks in at #9 on Magary’s list, as evinced by the southern-state soliloquy recited by Bruce McGill, who should be in everything, inserted into the midst of his unforgettable “The Insider” monologue. “This is not North Carolina, not South Carolina nor Kentucky!” he bellows. “This is the sovereign State of Mississippi’s proceeding!” You just wish he could have fit Alabama in there too, or even Tennessee, though the definitive Tennessee utterance takes place in Dolly Parton’s “A Smoky Mountain Christmas” which I feel safe saying even though I have not actually seen it.

However, it’s tough for me to say any state is more euphonious than California, whether it’s the delightfully lyrical manner in which it rolls off Stuart Wilson’s tongue in “The Mask of Zorro”, making California sound like the Pacific paradise of so many romantic odes, or even Bruce Willis’s snide dismissal of the Golden State ethos as “Die Hard” commences which still makes it sound better than, say, “Rhode Island.”

On the other hand, while I am famously no John Wayne fan, even I will come clean and admit that John Wayne’s deliberate drawl gave great life to Colorado throughout “Rio Bravo” even if he was referring to Ricky Nelson rather than the state, fashioning it, perhaps inevitably, as “Call-uh-rah-*duh*” rather than “Call-uh-rah-*doh*.” Nothing without providence is a decent state motto, I suppose, if you’re into providence anyway, but boy oh boy wouldn’t you go in for a little axiom re-branding in the form of Let’s make a little noise, Call-uh-rah-*duh*.

Of course, my status as a native and current Midwesterner makes it difficult for me to ignore just how underrated our states can be to say. Truly! Think of the English actor Kris Marshall, as the quasi-immortal Colin Frissell of “Love Actually”, who makes “Wisconsin” sound like a land flowing in milk and honey, or the personable sheepishness that Kevin Costner lends “Iowa” when telling the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson that this isn’t quite heaven.

Then again, think of “Unforgiven”, when English Bob observes that he thought Little Bill was dead, to which Little Bill unforgettably replies “Hell, I even thought I was dead, ’til it turned out I was just in Nebraska,” with the aforementioned Gene Hackman, merely re-cementing his immortality, twisting The Cornhusker State’s namesake into something akin to the Hoth system.

But whatever. This is all boilerplate, blogging meaningless, because obviously one more state is more fun to say than any other state — at least, if we are Cary Grant, that is, and don’t we all wish we were?

1 comment:

Jessica said...

That is one of my most favorite movie scenes of all time. Everything about it is solid gold. "I just met her."