Fargo – No. We Don’t All Talk Like That


5. Do you play hockey?
4. I love Minnesotans! You are all so nice!
3. Isn’t that Canada?
2. Ohhhhhhhh so you’re from Minessoooooohhhhhtaaaaahhh.

And, the number one thing you here when you tell someone you’re from Minnesota:

1. Have you seen Fargo?

It always really confused me why a movie named for a North Dakota city was so many people’s immediate reaction to hearing about Minnesota. I’m really bad at geography, but even I knew that Fargo, Minnesota wasn’t a thing. This is especially hurtful for a state that has a well-documented inferiority complex. We are a proud and successful state with big cities (Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 15th largest metro area in the country, ahead of San Diego, Orlando and St. Louis), great nature, nice towns (that are not Fargo), great culture (Minneapolis-St. Paul are only bested by New York in live theater per capita) and great(?) sports (we’re one of 13 markets with a team in all four major professional leagues). But people rarely remember these things. They think we’re too cold to live in. They think Chicago is the only real midwest city.

And so we are forced to prove our worthiness as a state and metro area. Did you know that Bob Dylan and Prince are from Minnesota? And Judy Garland too! Did you like The Great Gatsby? You’re welcome because F. Scott Fitzgerald is from St. Paul. Are you political? How about Vice Presidents and presidential candidates Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale.

Now that you are fully aware of how awesome Minnesota is, here are my thoughts on Fargo.

84. Fargo

Released: 1996
Big names: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi
One sentence summary: A Minnesota car salesman (Macy) tries to get out of a financial bind by having his wife kidnapped and ransomed by her wealthy father.
Scene that sticks out: It’s hard to beat a human body going through a wood chipper.
Thoughts: This is a great movie. I’m not sure how much of it is the fact that I couldn’t stop cracking up over William H. Macy and Frances McDormand talking in their super exaggerated Minnesotan accents or that I miss Embers with a burning passion (get it?!). That was certainly part of it. But this was also just a phenomenally done movie. The juxtaposition of over the top Minnesota-nice with the grisly concepts of kidnapping and murder works brilliantly. Macy and McDormand are fantastic. Steve Buscemi is hilarious as always. It’s a simple movie that just works.
Ranking (out of 10): 8-10 – This is the kind of movie I could watch just about whenever and it would still be funny and brilliant.

Ohhh Doncha Knooooowwwww

As I said, the accents in Fargo cracked me up non-stop. I don’t think I have much a Minnesota accent. In fact, it only comes out when someone is talking to me about my accent and I say the word Minneso(h)ta. As a student at a college with people from around the country and around the world, I have numerous experiences of finding out the weird things that other people say in other parts of the country. (Really, Wisconsin? Bubblers?) While I would normally put together my own graphic for you all, the following maps are too good to pass up. They are put together by Joshua Katz from the Statistics Department at North Carolina State University. Click here to see all the maps that he put together.

Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.17.31 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.18.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-05-03 at 4.18.47 PM


NEXT WEEK: We go big with Lawrence of Arabia.