Every 16th of September in the Emerald City, Seattle, Washington, the locals celebrate Stay Away from Seattle Day. This off-beat holiday is, in the words of Hallmark’s website dedicated to the holiday:
“Because frankly Seattle doesn’t want you coming around, stinking up the joint. And last time you tracked mud all over the carpet and some of the special occasion dinnerware went missing. Seattle will let you know when it’s ready to see you again. Until then, keep your distance. You think we’re kidding but really this day was championed by Seattle residents tired of sharing their space with tourists.”
In honor of this strange and out in left-field holiday, today’s list is the Top 5 movies filmed in Seattle.
The directorial debut of Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous being his most well-known titles) is set in Seattle and is consistently mentioned among the best romantic comedies ever. Following the story of under-achieving Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) and his pursuit to win school valedictorian Diane Court (Ione Skye) before she leaves to study in England, Say Anything… is a pretty awesome movie. It’s most memorable scene, John Cusack holding a boom box over his head and blasting “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, will forever be etched in 80’s teen movie lore and will forever fuel our collective love of Peter Gabriel.
10 years after Say Anything…, this movie was the 90’s teen movie that collected bits of younger years TV nostalgia (Larissa Oleynik (Alex Mack) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (3rd Rock From the Sun) and introduced two new budding stars that would go on to bigger and better things (Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles). For some reason every girl that I ever wanted to date made this movie a must-like or must-see in order to date them. So thankfully I met my wife and her favorite movie at the time was What About Bob? and pretty much sealed the deal on us dating and was a cinematic down-payment on our marriage.
Not the greatest movie but a movie that will continue to have a life until my generation moves on to running the world and then having grandkids and stuff. I saw this movie for the first time in 2002 in college and, at the time, hated Heath Ledger in this film. However, it is crazy that the hunky dude in this movie goes from this movie to one of the performances of a lifetime as the Joker in The Dark Knight. Crazy and sad that he is still not around today.
3) The Ring
Another movie that has memories tied into my college years. This was the smash-hit horror movie that took the box office by storm in 2002. This movie is so crazy weird and crazy scary. For a long time the movie feels much more like a crime thriller, but then it finally makes a Twin Peak’s, David Lunch style right turn into be completely off-the-wall insane. This movie is probably not as awesome as I remember since it has been a dozen years since I have seen it, but I remember being pretty freaked out and captivated by it all at the same time. Gore Verbinksi, the director of The Ring, hit it big with this movie and took a career about face by directing the first three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which seems like such an odd career direction. However, working with Johnny Depp has its similarities to a horror film, so I can sort of get his direction (just kidding Johnny, I love you and want to be your friend).
Another major motion picture debut from a director is Josh Trank’s 2012 found footage film, Chronicle. The movie isn’t a ground-breaking film, since other found footage films like The Blair Witch Project (blech) and Cloverfield (yay) claim that mantle, but it is an interesting darker exploration of what it would be like for ordinary people to gain extraordinary powers. It’s a decent film and has a lot of promise for a guy that has been handed the reins to the Fantastic Four reboot and a stand-alone Star Wars film.
Could you really expect me to pick anything different for the number one spot on this list? Not only was it filmed in Seattle, it has Seattle IN THE TITLE! For some reason I can distinctly remember seeing this movie, it its entirety, at least three times. I’m not ashamed but find it curious that I have made the decision to pick this movie that many times.
All that aside, this is a pretty great movie. While it is a tad dated at this point, there are few movies that can be a romantic comedy while railing against the prevailing notions of a romantic comedy in its plot. A lot of the old review for this movie like it to the point of hating the fact that they like it, and this is exactly what this movie is. It’s a trope at times but the charming appeal is the fact that the trope is made fun of and laughed at and done so well as to be endearing. Also, the movie is superbly acted and Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan have great chemistry that really doesn’t even fully come through until they meet again in You’ve Got Mail.
Why the crap do I know so much about romantic comedies? Because my wife will not watch fantasy and sci-fi movies with me, that’s why, so back off! (Just kidding, I want you and Johnny Depp to be my friends. Maybe we could go get some of those gourmet doughnuts I’ve been hearing so much about).