Bless their hearts.
We love Southern movies, whether they’re based in the South, filmed in the South, or about the South, but it’s undeniable that the South and its people aren’t always accurately portrayed. (It’s alright, Hollywood, we’re not mad about it.) Watching native Californians or New Yorkers try to act Southern makes for an easy laugh. But some Southern stereotypes aren’t necessarily true (for most of us down here at least), but movies won’t seem to let them go.
You knew this one was coming. Like our own mamas, Southern movies have some of the best one-liners, but that doesn’t mean they’re spoken with an authentic Southern accent. Actors usually take it too far on the Southern drawl and end up in hillbilly territory. Even actors that said they worked with speech coaches and talked to locals where they were filming often don’t hit the mark. We take pride in the way we speak, even if it is a little drawn out. No offense, but y’all butcher it.
Yes, the South is hot. And humid. And, we’ll admit it, the combination of the two can be miserable during a blistering July day. But we really do own air conditioners. It’s understandable to show characters sweating while they’re outside, but for some reason, they never stop sweating once they’re inside. And it’s not a light glistening of sweat—they seem to dunk these actors in water to play a scene that’s strictly indoors. We know many places in the South stay hot almost year round, but we do own air conditioners to cool us off. I promise.
Hunting, Fishing, and Pickup Trucks
We know the country music songs don't help this case. ever written is no help in this argument, but really—not every person, not even every man, who lives in the South is a hunting, fishing, pickup truck driving person. Every actor portraying a Southerner does not have to partake in one or all of these activities.
Towns and Cities
“Small Town America” is stereotypically set in the South, and honestly, it’s with good reason. We absolutely adore our small towns and the people who make them great. There are plenty of one-traffic-light towns across the South, but there are also big, thriving cities. Would you believe it—there’s even skyscrapers! All this to say that while movies set in the middle of nowhere can be equal parts charming or terrifying in movies, not every town in the South is a small one, and not every road is a dirt one.
Just like accents were expected to be on this list, I hope that antiquated gender roles were, too. Southern women are some of the strongest women in the world (reference: Mama), and our fates are not up to the men in our lives like they were in the past. Southern women are far from helpless, so stop portraying them as so. Although "Sweet Home Alabama" and "The Notebook" are two of our favorite movies based in the South, wouldn’t it be nice if there were a Southern movie where the girl’s life didn’t revolve around a boy? Start up the screenplay—we bet it would sell like hotcakes.