Mike Myers is the one who who brought deeper (if not subtler) meaning. WTF?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2011/02/03 07:01 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2011/02/03/10124048.aspx


it was back in December when Raymond wrote his The subtleties of a Will Ferrell movie, and other observations from the in-flight entertainment on a Chinese airline.

The part that grabbed me most was:

I wasn't interested in the English-language movies, although I did watch a little bit of "The Other Guys", a Will Ferrell vehicle. In one scene, Ferrell's character and his friend have dinner in a Chinese restaurant. Ferrell's character says to the waiter, "謝謝" which means "Thank you" in Mandarin. The waiter responds, "唔該" which means (in this context) "You're welcome" in Cantonese.

Part of my brain wondered if this language mismatch was some sort of subtle commentary about the nature of Will Ferrell's character, that he's perhaps a bit of a poseur, or that he's out of place and doesn't realize it?

And part of my brain couldn't believe that the other part of my brain used "subtle" and "Will Ferrell" in the same sentence.

 It took me back to an earlier blog of mine from back in 2005 (In TV and movies, language is often done without thought), where I concluded:

The writers of Law & Order probably did not have any deep motives or hidden scenarios for what they did. I frankly doubt they even really knew that the actors did this. Perhaps it was just an Easter egg that they produced for the show? :-)

And this even without the benefit of throwing Will Ferrell in as a forcing function to realize how silly one sounds when one ascribes higher motives to a movie of Will Ferrell's!

But maybe I am just too cynical.

I remember all the fun that Mike Myers had in Wayne's World with Cantonese, though he made fun of that himself by starting with actual Cantonese and then slipping in all kinds of fun and obvious ways that even people who couldn't speak would quickly pick up on.

Come to think of it, I remember something in the DVD comentary about the difficulty he had in learning the Cantonese lines!

Of all of these examples, it is scary that Mike Myers is the one who was able bring deeper (if not subtler) meaning to the problem space, even as he made fun of it at the same time....


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