Toronto’s extensive work on the silver screen reveals that, while we have the chameleonic ability to look like anywhere from New York City to Moscow, the disguise doesn’t always hold up to scrutiny. Reel Toronto revels in digging up and displaying the films that attempt to mask, hide, or—in rare cases—proudly display our city.
The forthcoming release of MacGruber surely suggests the fine folks at Saturday Night Live refuse to grasp the problems inherent in turning an amusing two-minute sketch into a quality film (Wayne’s World and Blues Brothers excepted). Case in point: The Ladies Man. Yes, it’s fun to say “Courvoisier” with a lisp, and there’s at least a chuckle or two amidst the ninety minutes of suffering. But make no mistake: suffering it is.
Is there any chance Lorne Michaels would besmirch the United States, the country that has given him so much, with such an inferior production? No, far better to pretend the movie is shot in Chicago and then inflict the actual damage on his hometown. Shame, sir.
The “plot” of the film is that this dude learns the value of love, or something like that. Of course, fans of the character wanted to know something of what makes him tick, so we get a flashback where we see he was left on the stairs of a mansion and raised by a playboy. The interiors were shot at the popular Christie House, at the corner of Wellesley and Queen’s Park…
…but the exterior is Bay Street’s exclusive National Club.
Leon Phelps (i.e. The Ladies Man) likes to hang out in a groovy bar, tended by father-figure Billy Dee Williams. The interior is a set but the exterior is the Linsmore Tavern on the Danforth.
Despite the deceptive Chicago Transit Authority gear on the pole, you get a nice shot of the adjacent Greenwood subway exit here, later on.
Dude lives in a houseboat (“The Skank-tuary”) docked near Humber Bay Park and Marina Del Rey.
The “dramatic tension” in the movie is provided by a group of cuckolded losers trying to get revenge on the man who, like, adulterated with their wives. This allows the filmmakers to get out of the way one thing everyone would otherwise have been on the edge of their seats for: a prolonged shot of Tim Meadows’ bare ass.
Then we get this one husband tracking down the cult-like losers’ group (headed by Will Ferrell!) in the Masonic Temple.
The titular Ladies Man hosts a radio show in a fancy shmancy tower. It’s played by the TD Centre and we get quite a glimpse during a funny-but-prolonged song-and-dance number that starts on the steps…
…goes into the lobby…
…and up the elevators.
This is just around the corner at York and Wellington. It took us a wee bit of digging to get this precise location, but the Eye Magazine boxes and Lion King banners are a bit of a Hogtown giveaway, ain’t they?
With so much construction going on in the West Donlands area, it’s a bit hard to pin down this exact location, but you can clearly see the old brewery building at the Don Roadway and Eastern Avenue. This is likely the old eastern end of Front Street (it looks like this right now) or Mill Street.
Nearby is (or rather, was) the always-popular-with-film-crews Canary Grill.
Before you think, “Hey, I should check this movie out!” you should be aware of the sheer level of talent that has debased itself here. The hugely talented Eugene Levy has at least as many appearances in horrible movies as in good ones….
…but then we get not one but…
…TWO Kids in the Hall putting in appearances.
We already mentioned Billy Dee Williams and Will Ferrell but how to explain Julianne Moore as a sexed-up clown? Seriously, HOW? And did we mention the prolonged shot of Tim Meadows’ ass? We did? Then that’s everything you need to know about The Ladies Man.
And just so you don’t get your hopes up: we don’t care if Bruce McCulloch directed it and we don’t want to know if it was shot in David Miller’s office with the ghosts of William Lyon Mackenzie and King Clancy cheering the production on while holding up the 1992 World Series trophy and reading In the Skin of a Lion. Even Reel Toronto will not sit through Superstar.