Reading Terry Rossio’s excellent Wordplayer site, I came across this article on character names, a subject dear to my heart.
Now, you might wonder, are names in films really that important? I think so! Boring names can make a dull film worse. Inappropriate character names can make you wince. And sometime they just go overboard. Why on earth did someone decide to call Jason Statham’s Crank character Chev Chelios? Why was Giovanni Ribisi called Kip Raines in Gone in Sixty Seconds?
Joe Eszterhas claims to give his characters solid, old-fashioned names because they won’t date. Well, it might be boring, but maybe some of the overexcited action writers could learn from him – and stop called characters things like The Sphinx.
Movie names I think rock:
Scarlett O’Hara (hello, we know right away she’s a scarlet woman!)
John McClane (this just really suits the character)
Crash Davis (again, exactly what it says on the tin)
Michael Myers. Real guys called Michael Myers must get fed up with all the Hallowe’en references, mind.
Egon Spengler. Brilliant!
Movie names that make me want to claw my eyes out:
Riley Hale. Like fingernails on a blackboard.
Mikaela Baines (horrible spelling!!)
Alotta Fagina (there’s funny-bad and there’s gynaecology-bad..)
Jonathan Cold (yes, this is a Steven Seagal character)