Odd film marketing: Sweet Home Alabama

Not exactly the most recent film, I know, but for some reason, the movie crossed my mind this weekend and I just thought I’d draw your attention to the odd way Sweet Home Alabama was marketed in France. Here are the US poster and French poster for said movie. Click to make them bigger.

Sweet Home AlabamaFashion Victime

The movie was about a New York fashion designer, originally from Alabama, who returns home and finds love. The name is a cash-in on a well-known song by litle-known band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The US tag line is “Sometimes what we’re looking for is right where we left it.”

In France, the movie had something of a revamp. It got a new name, Fashion Victime, presumably because the song was unknown in France. But you don’t need me to tell you it means either “fashion victim” or potentially “victim of fashion” if you take into account the rest of the poster, which suggests something quite different.

We’ve also lost the original US tagline in favour of “no boys allowed” in a lipstick kiss and “The romantic comedy number one at the US box office”.

So on the left, we have a fashionable woman returning home with her bags and dog to find love; on the right, we have a fashionable woman with shopping bags, luggage and a dog, doing girly things. We’ve gone from a movie that’s a sort of a rom-com but basically a vehicle for Reese Witherspoon to a bit of on-screen chick-lit allegedly about a shopaholic.

Trouble is, the movie didn’t change for French audiences, so they still got the original movie, even if they thought they were going to see something a bit more frothy.

Incidentally, the “number one at the US box office” tagline that gets inserted on so many posters is meaningless. I’ve seen in on posters for movies that haven’t even been released in the US yet. I do not think it means what they think it means.

Next time, I’ll try to hunt down a copy of the UK promo poster for Long Kiss Goodnight, which had some of the worst Photoshopping ever. Geena Davis’s head wasn’t even attached to her body!

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