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Sunday June 16th 2024

I Love You To Death | 1990

I Love You To Death filming location: Bob's Java Jive, Tacoma, Washington State
I Love You To Death location: Bob's Java Jive, South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, Washington State | Photograph: flickr / Phoebe V

You couldn’t make it up. The story of a woman’s clumsy attempts to murder her philandering husband would be risible were it not for the ‘Based on a true story’ tag.

Inspired by events that happened in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1983, Lawrence Kasdan’s underrated little black comedy moves the action to the picturesque Pacific Northwest.

The movie was filmed around Tacoma, Washington State, on Puget Sound, about 30 miles southwest of Seattle.

The apartment building (‘Villa Rosalie’) owned by Joey Boca (Kevin Kline) is the Bostwick Building, 755 St Helens Avenue, on Tacoma’s Antique’s Row. The historic flatiron-style building was built in 1887 as a hotel, but is now indeed an apartment building.

The empty premises on the southern corner at Broadway was turned into ‘Joey Boca’s Pizzeria’ for the film. No longer vacant, it’s now Tully’s Coffee, 764 Broadway.

I Love You To Death location: Bostwick Building, St Helen's Avenue, Tacoma
I Love You To Death location: Bostwick Building, St Helen's Avenue, Tacoma

The fabulous coffee-pot shaped cafe in which Devo (River Phoenix) hires stoners Harlan and Marlon (William Hurt and Keanu Reeves) to knock off her husband is, amazingly, for real – it’s Bob’s Java Jive, 2102 South Tacoma Way.

A block north of the Bostwick, the vacant (at the time of filming) Elks Club Building, 565 Broadway, became the police station, where just about everybody pleads guilty to attempted murder.

Further north still, commanding a spectacular view over Commencement Bay, the Boca family home is, as the film says, 424 North C Street, at North 5th Street.

The Holy Rosary Church, 512 South 30th Street, is where Joey confesses his fortnight’s worth of adultery to a nonplussed priest.

There was supposedly filming at Stadium Bowl High School, 111 North East Street, which became ‘Padua High’ in another Tacoma screen favourite, 10 Things I Hate About You.