Movie Mondays: Recently Set in Seattle

~posted by Frank

In the past year, four movies have been set in Seattle – one needs no introduction, two flew under the radar but deserve to be watched, and the fourth…well, um, hmmm.

Fifty Shades of Grey is based on the publishing phenomenon of the same name by British novelist E.L. James. Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) is a shy college student who interviews billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) and is ultimately drawn into his world of masochism and sexual domination. While critics and audiences were largely unimpressed, it’s worth a watch to see Christian’s penthouse apartment in the Escala or the suite they check into in the Fairmont Olympic Hotel for one of their (many) trysts.

Laggiesthe latest from Seattle director Lynn Shelton, finds her working with her most high profile cast. Keira Knightly is Megan, adrift at 25 as her best friends (led by Allison, played by Ellie Kemper) get married, have babies and move to the Eastside. When her longtime boyfriend Anthony (Mark Webber) proposes, she flees to the house of an unlikely new friend — 16-year-old Annika (Chloë Grace Moretz) along with Annika’s suspicious but charming dad Craig (Sam Rockwell). Laggies has a loose and freewheeling feel to it, the cast shines, and Shelton’s Seattle — from aerial shots of the city to the Northgate Mall, Chihuly Glass House and the Crown Hill/Olympic Manor neighborhood — looks beautiful on screen.

Lucky Them is the third feature film from Seattle director Megan Griffiths. Ellie (Toni Collette) is a journalist whose latest assignment is to find Matthew Smith, a presumed dead rock star, who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. She partners with documentary filmmaker Charlie (Thomas Haden Church) to find Matthew, and hits a number of bumps along the way, not least of which is falling for street busker Lucas (Ryan Eggold). The film is boosted by lots of Seattle locations, from Ellie’s Fremont apartment to Capitol Hill’s Caffe Vita and the Crocodile in Belltown.

And then there’s Seattle SuperstormThis TV movie, which aired on the SyFy network (the same network that brought us Sharknado and Sharknado 2: The Second One) stars Esai Morales as a NASA scientist who, with the help of his wife and children, must stop a series of storms (including earthquakes and tornadoes), from destroying the city – and the planet! If preposterous plot twists, sub-par acting and cheesy special effects are your thing, then this is the movie for you.

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