Bridesmaids | 2011
If the Judd Apatow comedy factory seemed a bit laddish, here’s one for the girls every bit as joyously crude. Set in Milwaukee and Chicago, there were only a couple of days grabbing establishing shots in the cities – the film was made firmly around Los Angeles.
The classy modern home of friend-with-occasional-benefits Ted (Jon Hamm), where Annie Walker (Kristen Wiig) is stranded atop the automated gate, is bang in the centre of the Hollywood-friendly San Fernando Valley, at 3722 Sapphire Drive, opposite Tudor Drive, in Encino. There’s little to see – what with those pesky high gates.
Something else you won’t see is ‘Joni’s’, the bakery where Annie and best friend forever Lillian (Maya Rudolph) talk sex – and Annie does her wicked, one-eyed penis impersonation – which existed only on the Paramount backlot in Hollywood.
There’s just a little of the real Milwaukee, including the exterior of ‘Cholodecki’s’, the jewellery store in which Annie spreads her message of disillusion – and gets fired after dropping the C bomb – which was an empty store at 1009 Mitchell Street, at South 10th Street, in the Historic Mitchell Street district. Using the wonders of technology the store name was changed digitally.
To the south of the city, the apartment Annie shares with the weird Gil (Matt Lucas) and his weirder sister, is 2501 South Kinnickinnic Avenue at East Homer Street, in Bay View. And that’s about it.
There are a couple of views of Chicago (the Chicago River, the Navy Pier), but ‘Sheffield Hunt Club’, where Lillian holds her engagement party, is Sherwood Country Club, 320 West Stafford Road, Thousand Oaks.
The club also provided the tennis court where Annie has a desperately competitive match with the glamorous Helen Harris (Rose Byrne), as well as the exterior of the final wedding venue.
The restaurant to which Annie takes Lillian and the girls to experience authentic Brazilian cuisine is La Sirenita, 14032 Oxnard Street, east of Hazeltine Avenue in Van Nuys. It’s actually a Mexican restaurant, and the rear parking lot entrance that’s seen. And, don’t worry, it’s only a movie – the food here is just fine.
The exterior of ‘Belle en Blanc’, the swanky bridal store to which Helen gets entrance, is a familiar old location – 650 Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles. An old Bank of America building, it’s a screen veteran, seen in Se7en, Spider-Man 2, Marathon Man, The Mask and plenty of other films. It’s on Spring Street that the stricken Lillian embarrasses herself in the posh designer wedding dress.
He takes her to try out his speed gun on West Gonzales Road at Jeep Trail, to the north of Oxnard – toward the coast and away from mountains, standing in for a flat, green stretch of the Midwest.
After a planned trip to Las Vegas goes horribly wrong, and Lillian decides that Helen should organise the wedding, Annie goes off to drown her sorrows with Officer Rhodes.
The bar exterior is another glimpse of the real Milwaukee – it was Norman One Step, 3218 West Cameron Street, at North 32nd Street, north of the city near Lincoln Park. The interior, though, is the Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 West Second Street, west of South Broadway, downtown Los Angeles – which you might recognise as the karaoke bar from (500) Days Of Summer.
And there are a couple more old screen favourites to end with.
The posh Harris estate, where Annie spectacularly flips out at the Parisian-themed bridal shower, is 380 South San Rafael Avenue, in Pasadena. This was previously seen as Eddie Murphy’s palatial home in movie biz satire Bowfinger, and the estate of conductor Kenneth Branagh in Dead Again. You can see the entrance gates, but the mansion itself isn’t visible from the street.
The wedding is finally held at the the Los Angeles State and County Arboretum, 301 North Baldwin Avenue, in Arcadia, a 127-acre botanical garden which must be one of the most filmed locations in the world. Its lush foliage has stood in for tropical jungles since the Tarzan and the Road to... movies, up to TV’s Fantasy Island (the kitschy little Queen Anne cottage is here), Marathon Man and Anaconda.