When "Push" Comes to Shove: The "Push" Title Confusion

In January, I blogged about an absolutely superb movie I saw at Sundance entitled “Push.” Not long after that movie swept the Sundance Awards, another movie entitled “Push” hit theaters. This movie wasn’t a realistic story of an inner city teen trying to break free from her horrible home. No, it was a pretty dumb fantasy about a bunch of teenagers with superpowers.

I worried that the far superior Sundance “Push” would hit confusion with the other “Push.” Indeed, it did. But who would get to keep the title of “Push.” Thanks to an earlier release date (not to mention, a big studio backer), the FX laden, Dakota Fanning version of “Push” gets to keep the title of “Push.” And what about the Sundance “Push?” Well, that has to change its name to “Precious.” This makes sense, because Precious is the name of the film’s main character. However, they should’ve kept the original title as “Push.” Why’s that? Because changing the title to “Precious” from “Push” takes away the original meaning. While “Precious” only expresses the name of the character, “Push” is meant to be symbolic to how Precious pushes herself to break free and succeed. How she pushes through abuse and poverty to get an education. Also, as one website points out, changing the title to “Precious” might give the movie a more positive feel. This is leading me to believe that studios are tampering with the original product to make it more uplifting and therefore, more unrealistic.
I believe changing the name of “Push” to “Precious” is wrong. Director Lee Daniels shouldn’t be forced to; Daniels could also cite the fact that the novel the movie is based on is called “Push.” Therefore, the “Push” released just a few weeks ago is actually ripping off the title of the novel and therefore has no right to the name “Push.” Plus, two of the biggest backers of “Push” (excuse me, “Precious”) are Tyler Perry and Oprah Winfrey. They have money and power. So my only wish is that they fight for the film they so fell in love with. Because a title is more important than you might think.