[Gothamist is happy to welcome David Hirschman, who guested as an interviewer last summer, to our family. David will be covering a variety of subjects; today is his first look at how NYC is portrayed in movies.]
The way NYC is depicted in the passable Will Smith vehicle Hitch is not unlike how it has been portrayed over the last decade in Sex and the City and Friends; it's that whimsical fantasy world where everyone lives in a massive, well-appointed Soho loft and there's never any traffic.
But if Gothamist can suspend disbelief they will likely appreciate the film's heavy use of Manhattan streets as a backdrop from beginning to end. From Soho and the Flatiron District to Park Avenue and the Upper West Side, the film shows a large swath of the city, and includes a few nice surprises. Characters walk among the flower wholesalers in Chelsea, hang out next to the Wall Street bull statue, visit the seals at the Central Park Zoo, and eat at the Fulton Fish Market, and there are a couple of nice cameos from Ellis Island, Columbia University and Madison Square Garden. Additionally, there are several nice tracking shots of the city's skyline at various times of the day.
It's likely that the films producers had to get plenty of permissions from the Mayor's office in order to shoot so many of these street scenes, and so, presumably as a thank you, one scene includes an awkwardly-inserted line about whether a character likes the design of "the new Jets stadium on the West Side." In context, the line holds the same assumption of the stadium's inevitability that is often in Bloomberg's speeches.
There's a good attempt to show certain aspects of the city's "singles scene, with pick-up sequences at a Meatpacking District lounge and a round of speed-dating" at Tao. One character's job as a gossip columnist at a thinly-veiled Daily News knockoff called the "New York Standard" also rang true (the Post made its own appearance as the Standard's competition), giving a good sense of the often mean-spirited battle for scoops.
Overall, for it's treatment of NYC, a thumbs up.
Related: New Yorkology noted Hitch's New Yorkiness.