Friday, May 22, 2009

Adam Sandler's 'Grown Ups' film set in Connecticut

Here we go again. Adam Sandler's buddy flick "Grown Ups," currently filming at the Pilgrim Congregational Church and the Old Burial Ground in Southborough, revisits familiar territory where several lackluster made-in-Boston flicks failed miserably.

In "Grown Ups," Massachusetts is a stand-in for Connecticut.

In fact, set designers spent hours transforming a hearse borrowed from Chesmore Funeral Home in Holliston into a Nutmeg State vehicle. According to the MetroWest Daily here, film crews swapped the hearse's Massachusetts plates with ones from Connecticut. They even added a Constitution State inspection sticker to strive for authenticity.

My question: Wouldn't it make sense to make a few changes in the script and make it a Massachusetts-set flick? I mean, it must take a lot of effort, not to mention production dollars, to physically switch out a license plate and add regional-specific visuals in order to achieve some sort of aesthetic authenticity.

However, "Growns Ups" isn't alone with its identity crisis. Here's a list of several locally-shot flicks having undergone a location switcheroo:

*The Women, released Friday, Sept. 12
A remake of George Cukor's 1939 classic starring Ryan, Annette Bening, Debra Messing, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Eva Mendez, "The Women" turned Boston's Newbury Street and various local locations in the South End and Copley Square area in to NYC.

*Bride Wars, released Friday, Jan. 9
Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson play best friends who are pitted against each other when their wedding dates clash. Boston is a stand-in for NYC.

*Paul Blart: Mall Cop, released Friday, Jan. 16
Kevin James stars in "Paul Blart: Mall Cop," a comedy about a security guard trying to stop a group of organized crooks who take over a mall. While set at the fictional West Orange Pavilion Mall in New Jersey, a majority of the film was shot at the mall in nearby Burlington and the South Shore Plaza in Braintree.

*Pink Panther 2, released Friday, Feb. 6
Martin's Jacques Clouseau teams up with a squad of bumbling International detectives in an attempt to stop a globe-trotting thief who specializes in stealing historical artifacts. Boston-area landmarks were showcased in the film ... although they were given a French manicure.

*Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, released Friday, May 1
A bachelor played by Matthew McConaughey is haunted by the ghosts of his past girlfriends (including Ben Affleck's wife Jennifer Garner) at his younger brother's wedding. Streets in Boston, including South Street near South Station and Marlborough Steet in the Back Bay, were transformed to look like the gentrified SoHo district in lower Manhattan.

*The Proposal, release Friday, June 12
Shot in the Bay State but set in NYC and Alaska? Diva boss Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock) forces her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to marry her in order to keep from losing her visa status in NYC and avoid deportation to Canada. The Rockport-shot scenes act as a stand-in for ... get this ... Sitka, Alaska.

Click here for the latest on Sandler's "Grown Ups."

--Salma Hayek photo shot by Ryan Miner, Beantown Photo for Loaded Gun Boston

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