Wednesday, March 3, 2010

taking lessons from Better Off Dead; or, learning "Franch"

I have  decided to spend this pre PhD year in preparing for the foreign language requirement.  In the past I always tried Spanish and it did not work out for me. I will write more about that another time.  So, I am going to switch to French. I have a ton of spanish baggage, and really, French is a pretty happy language for me. So without further adieu: I present: Le Plan.

1. Immerse myself in all things "Franch" al la Better of Dead's Kim Darcy.

 I will always love John Cusack. If, for no other reason than because of the classic comedy Better Off Dead. I think this may be the best movie in the history of extremely silly comedies. Some of my most quoted lines are from this movie.

Monique: He keeps putting his testicles all over me.
Lane Meyer: Excuse me?
Monique: You know, like octopus? Testicles?
Lane Myer: Ohhhh. Tentacles. N-T. Big Difference.

That scene is classic! And it makes me laugh every time I think about it. But the all time funniest thing is the scene where Kim Darcy puts together a meal for the Monique the neighbor's foreign exchange student.  She makes french bread, french fries, and french dressing. She pronounces it "Franch" and then later the annoying neighbor lady blows herself up.

Lane: Sorry your mom blew up Ricky.

Have you seen Better Off Dead? Did you love it?  I recently found out that John Cusack hated it. That made me a little sad. But, oh well.

2. Watch French films. J'aime des films de francais.

There are so many times when I am watching a decent american movie, you know, one that is okay, but not brilliant, that I think, "This would be so much better in French."

I have seen many french films, but if you have recommendations: lay them on me.

3. Get me that Rosetta Stone French program.
It's expensive. How expensive? Very expensive. But, hey, I hate language classes, so it should be worth it.

4. Develop a french alter ego. (Why yes, I AM taking suggestions for names!)  When I travel I lie to people. Nothing to serious, I just know I a never going to see them again, so I give them an interesting person to talk to, I put on a show. It's fun, no one gets hurt. Naturellement, je suis la France.
5.  Go to France and pretend to BE that person! Oui. I am serious.
And yes, you can come too!

6. Oh, and I'll pass the foreign language requirement in the process.


  1. John Cusack can suck it. Better Off Dead was probably the greatest thing to come out of the 80's.

    Je m'appelle Bridgitte in my HS French class. But I promptly forgot all my French when I started taking Spanish. I don't even know if I spelled "name" correctly. Oh well.

  2. I also love Better Off Dead! I need to dig through my movies and pull it out now.

    This is an awesome plan. I'll be of absolutely no help here, however, unless you need someone to watch French films with (and that'd have to be a long-distance thing, of course).

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  4. Haha, this is awesome! Actually, when I was taking French what was really useful to me was French music because you can listen to it repeatedly until you feel pretty comfortable with their sentences.

    You should post your fake French name here when you think of it. My fake Spanish name in my mind was Alondra ( lark), but I didn't tell people that.

  5. *Love* Better Off Dead. I don't know why John Cusack didn't like it. Next thing you know, you'll tell me he also didn't like Say Anything or High Fidelity or Being John Malkovich...

    Your French name should be... Babette! As for French films, I've seen lots of Audrey Tautou's (because I love her cherubic lips and doe eyes :) ), but in particular, I like Happenstance, Amelie (of course), and next to Amelie, my favorite, He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.

  6. I just rewatched Better Off Dead again. It was made even more hilarious by Cardo pretty much just staring at me, shaking his head, wondering, yet again, why I watch the movies I watch.