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Article in the Chicago Sun-Times Newspaper

*SiLver*RoBoT*

TRIBE Member
I was visiting this newspaper the past few days, and one of the press guys showed me this article written by Richard Roeper...thought it was an interesting and funny read.


Toronto's just a poser in movies 'set' here

April 24, 2002

BY RICHARD ROEPER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST

As the opening credits for "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" pop up, we see some gorgeous, sweeping shots of a rain-dappled skyline. A title card says it's "Chicago, 5 a.m."

Those big fat liars.

Sure, the skyline shots and a few other exteriors are authentic. But the rest is a false front. As much as I enjoyed the sweet and funny story of a 30ish wallflower (Nia Vardalos) from a big, smothering Greek family who falls in love with a charming but decidedly non-Greek schoolteacher, I was somewhat distracted as I played the time-honored local game of looking for Chicago locales.

Hardly anything clicked. They SAY it's Chicago in this movie, they PRETEND it's Chicago, and most of the locations sort of LOOK like they could be in Chicago.

But this city isn't Chicago. It's Toronto.

Now, Toronto is a wonderful city, cosmopolitan and clean, and the people are friendly types who sport good dental work and fine manners. But I know Chicago. Chicago is my hometown.

And, Toronto, you are no Chicago.

I'm sick of this cinematic trend, this Toronto-as-Chicago masquerade. In the last year or so, I've seen at least five films in addition to "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in which Toronto impersonates Chicago:

* David Mamet's semi-autobiographical "Lakeboat," the story of a graduate student who spends a summer on a Great Lakes freighter with a bunch of bawdy lifers who teach him all about life and booze and broads, is set in Chicago and on Lake Michigan. But Toronto stands in for Chicago, and Lake Ontario substitutes for Lake Michigan.

* Denzel Washington's family in "John Q" lives on the South Side of Chicago, and he takes hostages in a Chicago hospital, drawing the attention of the Chicago police and the Chicago media as well as thousands of Chicagoans. The movie was shot in Toronto.

* In last summer's underrated "Angel Eyes," Jennifer Lopez actually does a fine job of playing a Chicago cop who hooks up with a mysterious stranger after he saves her life. Toronto, though, isn't so convincing as Chicago. The first scene depicts an automobile accident scene supposedly set here, but Toronto's famous CN Tower is clear and prominent in the background.

And when a Toronto Transit bus zips past, nobody notices. You'd think Lopez would want to investigate that, being a cop and all.

Later in the movie, J. Lo and Jim Caviezel are taking a stroll in "downtown Chicago," but they're across the street from the famous, neon-spangled Toronto department store known as "Honest Ed's," which is as closely associated with its home city as Macy's is with New York or Marshall Field's with Chicago.

A sign on the marquee of "Honest Ed's" reads: "There's no place like this place, anyplace!"

Except in Chicago, apparently.

* The howlingly bad auto racing melodrama "Driven" features a number of cities standing in for other cities, including, of course, Toronto as Chicago. In one of the most ludicrous scenes in the history of cinema, a driver played by Kip Pardue gets into a fight at a publicity event, storms out of the gala and climbs into one of the cars on display. Never mind that the car wouldn't be fueled, and you wouldn't be able to start it anyway without an external kit; Pardue guns it and starts racing through the streets of "Chicago" at 195 mph, and he's quickly joined by Sylvester Stallone, who climbs into a SECOND race car and tears after Pardue, shouting helpful advice like "Pull over!" to him as they roar past such famous Chicago landmarks as the Toronto Hilton before they screech to a halt and get into a screaming match at an intersection in, well, Toronto.

* Pop star Lance Bass meets the girl of his dreams on a Chicago L train in "On the Line," but he spends a lot of time trying to find her in the wrong city. They did spend about a week in Chicago doing scenes on a CTA train and platform and at Wrigley Field, but much of the movie was shot in "Hollywood North," as Toronto likes to call itself.

Going deeper into the past, Toronto has impersonated Chicago in feature films such as "Adventures in Babysitting," "The Big Town," "Three to Tango," "The Ladies Man," "Guilty as Sin" and "Blues Brothers 2000," and in dozens of TV series and TV movies.

Remember the HBO production of "Cheaters," the fictionalized account of the scandal about the Steinmetz High School students who bested Whitney Young in the academic decathlon? They shot that movie in Toronto, those cheaters.

We know why this is happening. It's all about the money. Take your production to Canada, and you'll enjoy the strength of the American dollar, tax incentives and relaxed union restrictions.

We can understand this, but that doesn't mean we have to like it. In movie after movie, Toronto is engaging in wholesale identity theft.

It's only a matter of time before tourists in Chicago start asking for directions to the CN Tower and Honest Ed's.

E-mail: rroeper@suntimes.com

http://www.suntimes.com/output/roeper/cst-nws-roep24.html

*over*and*out*

*SiLver*RoBoT*
 
Stop Bill C-10

stir-fry

TRIBE Member
*thanks for the information*

thumbs%20up.JPG
 

Klubmasta Will

TRIBE Member
roeper's alright. he's a bit of a sissy/nerd but you could say that about almost all movie critics.

he is right about the director of 'angel eyes' forgetting to edit out the cn tower and honest ed's. that's kinda sloppy.

you also can't really blame him for being hometown proud. we torontonians are just as proud and we've never had oprah, letterman, michael jordan, refridgerator perry or al capone.
 
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Rosey

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by *SiLver*RoBoT*

* The howlingly bad auto racing melodrama "Driven" features a number of cities standing in for other cities, including, of course, Toronto as Chicago. In one of the most ludicrous scenes in the history of cinema, a driver played by Kip Pardue gets into a fight at a publicity event, storms out of the gala and climbs into one of the cars on display. Never mind that the car wouldn't be fueled, and you wouldn't be able to start it anyway without an external kit; Pardue guns it and starts racing through the streets of "Chicago" at 195 mph, and he's quickly joined by Sylvester Stallone, who climbs into a SECOND race car and tears after Pardue, shouting helpful advice like "Pull over!" to him as they roar past such famous Chicago landmarks as the Toronto Hilton before they screech to a halt and get into a screaming match at an intersection in, well, Toronto.
i was walking by as they filmed that part on university ave. it was cool.

at least he said nice things about toronto. :)
 
Roeper is Ebert's bitch. He was Ebert's fucking yes man, until Entertainment Weekly called him a puppet and had a satirical picture of him as a ventriloquist's dummy on Ebert's lap. He then decided to butch up. He's still secretly Eberts little butt monkey.

And Will is right. I realize I'm gaining readership by commenting on other people's work. I'm a fucking parasite by definition. ;)

From the Ministry of germs

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