9 Movies That Will Make You Love Los Angeles
Ready, set, stream
Here’s a fresh idea: Forget binge-watching [insert TV series here] for a night and settle in to watch one of our favorite Los Angeles-based flicks. From intense, emotional fare (Magnolia) to charming classics (Clueless, duh), you’ll remember why our city rules.
It was 30 years ago (July 19, 1995, to be exact) that this version of Jane Austen’s Emma, transposed to Beverly Hills, introduced America to Alicia Silverstone, Cali high school slang and Brittany Murphy delivering one of the best put-downs ever.
“500 Days of Summer”
Sure, the two leads in this 2009 romance are Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel, but there’s a third wheel that both are smitten with: downtown Los Angeles. The fountain in Grand Park, the Bradbury Building and what we learned was the city’s first skyscraper, the 175-foot Continental Building at 408 South Spring Street.
Surrealist comedy is accented by ’80s-style shoulder pads in this 1991 feature written by and starring Steve Martin (wooing Sarah Jessica Parker, above). Our fitness obsession, traffic and perfect weather have been made fun of often, but never so drolly as in this comedian’s hands.
We love the glam ’60s interiors. We love the pool shots. And we’re still waiting for our Alfa Romeo so we can tool the freeway to a Simon & Garfunkel song--like a confused young Dustin Hoffman does in this 1967 comic drama directed by Mike Nichols.
“The Bling Ring”
This dark comedy from 2013 lets us have it both ways--we can feel superior that we’re not the vapid, celebrity-obsessed high schoolers in this story, which is based on a real-life string of heists. And we can gawp at Paris Hilton’s real-life manse, used as a set.
So many feels. In 1999, director Paul Thomas Anderson set out to make the epic San Fernando Valley film, and he succeeds in this wild tale of family dysfunction including a self-help guru memorably played by Tom Cruise. And we dare you to watch this scene of Philip Seymour Hoffman without tearing up.
The 1990 story of a hooker with a heart of gold is our guilty anti-feminist pleasure, as much for the retro-luxe of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel as the chemistry between Richard Gere and Julia Roberts. Super-fans, listen up: The hotel’s offering a Rolls to take you on a Rodeo Drive shopping spree to celebrate the flick’s 25th anniversary.
Love the throwback charm of the ’70s-era Beverly Hills Hotel, the set for this omnibus Neil Simon-penned story about four couples. Maggie Smith won an Oscar in 1978 for her role as an Academy Award-nominated British actress forced to contend with her increasingly flamboyant gay husband, played by Michael Caine.
Keanu Reeves surfs, Patrick Swayze pontificates and a pre-Academy Award Kathryn Bigelow directs this 1991 cult classic about a bank-robbing gang of wave riders. Leo Carrillo and Nicholas Canyon beaches in Malibu are among the many locations--remember pre-drought outdoor showers?