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Why are “Philly Movies” not Philly Enough?

Colleen Schlieman | Writer

I have lived near the city of Philadelphia for my entire life. I’ve traveled to Philly more times than I can count, and my parents have been Eagles fans for their entire lives. So, I have been steeped in a culture of loving the city of Philadelphia, and as a movie lover, I have seen what many people call “Philadelphia movies”. Rocky and its continuations come to mind, as well as Silver Linings Playbook. Rewatching these movies now, I had a realization: why do Philly movies not have Philly accents? Why are they not Philly enough?


Starting with Rocky, although it runs through recognizable parts of the greater Philadelphia area, he’s never seen getting a cheesesteak. That is the Philadelphia food! Rocky is a wrestler and trains very hard. He came from nothing, and wants to win it all, but never in any of these training sessions does he ever ask for “wuter”. Rocky does not sound like he is from Philly at all, and if it was never mentioned that this movie took place there, I don’t think you would know.


In the movie Silver Lining’s Playbook, Bradley Cooper’s family are massive Eagles fans. Cooper’s father’s best friend is a die-hard Cowboys fan. If you don’t follow football much, the Cowboys and Eagles are generational rivals. Once again, there are no Philly accents in this movie either. If Hollywood wants to make movies surrounding and including Philadelphia, youse guys need to include more Philadelphia culture and make it a more integral part of the movie, not just the setting.




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