Where the Daniel Radcliffe Rom-Com The F Word Was Filmed in Toronto

Torontoist

1 Comment

culture

Where the Daniel Radcliffe Rom-Com The F Word Was Filmed in Toronto

Finally, a romantic comedy that Toronto can call its own.

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.

2014 11 26royal more (640x270)

Peruse Reel Toronto’s back catalogue of 200 or so stories, and you’ll find the number of films in which the city plays itself is very low indeed. That makes every such film a bit special, and if it’s a fun film to watch, so much the better. Slowly but surely Toronto does seem to be getting a cinematic face of its own, and The F Word sits nicely alongside Take This Waltz and the more fanciful Scott Pilgrim vs. The World as a snapshot of young, hipster Toronto, presented in glorious widescreen.

It’s interesting to compare The F Word to Take This Waltz. Whereas Take This Waltz is mostly situated in the city’s west end, The F Word gives the east side the spotlight. And while Take This Waltz is characterized by Sarah Polley’s brutal emotional honesty, The F Word sees writer Elan Mastai and director Michael Dowse go for a crowd-pleasing rom com comparable to the likes of When Harry Met Sally and (500) Days of Summer. And The F Word makes the city a postcard-perfect backdrop as surely as those other films do with New York City and Los Angeles.

2014 11 26opening conhall (640x271)

We could spend this whole column talking about the lovely establishing shots of the city, the first of which appears during the opening credits. It’s hard to believe this glowing and bustling city is the same place depicted in Enemy.

2014 11 26openign3 (640x270)

It’s actually a noticeable difference from films that have come before…

2014 11 26opening2 (640x270)

…as even Scott Pilgrim showed the CN Tower only in the film’s final moments, and Take This Waltz revealed Toronto’s beauty mostly at ground level.

2014 11 26radclifferoofe (640x277)

What Bathurst Street was to Scott Pilgrim and College Street was to Take This Waltz, Queen Street East and the Leslieville/Beach area is to The F Word. Daniel Radcliffe’s character, Wallace, likes to hang out on the roof…

2014 11 26radcliffehouse 77brooklyn (640x266)

…of his house on Brooklyn Avenue.

2014 11 26radclifferoof (640x269)

He’s got a nice view from up there.

2014 11 26gallery holycow (640x269)

We also spend some time shopping just down the street on Queen East…

2014 11 26gallery2 (640x270)

…at Holy Cow.

2014 11 26beach establishign (640x268)

Naturally, there’s some summertime chilling…

2014 11 26beaches (640x269)

…at Kew Beach.

2014 11 26beach oldbox (640x269)

We couldn’t help but notice they went to the trouble of swapping in an old-school Canada Post box. We appreciate that level of verisimilitude.

2014 11 26rheosposter (640x268)

Next year Adam Driver will appear in Star Wars. This year, he appears in a movie in which there is a poster from the Rheostatics’ final show on his wall. Can you get more Toronto than that? Not without a major character wearing some of Spacing‘s subway buttons you can’t.

2014 11 26fword spacing (640x272)

Ah, well, there you go then.

2014 11 26lawnbowling (640x270)

Back at the Beach, there’s also a nice little scene where Adam Driver drunkenly heckles the kind people lawn bowling at the Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club.

2014 11 26driverhouse gloucester church (640x273)

His character’s apartment is back on the other side of the Don River, on Gloucester Street near Church Street.

2014 11 26posthouse street (640x268)

Zoe Kazan’s character, Chantry (see, we told you: hipsters!), has a sharper apartment. The exterior view is on Metcalfe Street…

2014 11 26chantryapt (640x268)

…and it’s this building, in Cabbagetown.

greathallapt

But the interior is definitely somewhere else.

2014 11 26herapt GREATHALLstarbucks green[ (640x269)

She’s got a Starbucks out her window…

2014 11 26herapt dovercourt queen (640x269)

…and also a Dovercourt bus stop, which means she’s living above The Great Hall. Sweet. (Click here and scroll down to see pictures of the hall’s “Conversation Room,” which they dressed as the apartment.)

2014 11 26purplepurl (640x269)

She spends her time out and about at some hipster haunts…

2014 11 26purl2 (640x271)

…knitting at the Purple Purl

2014 11 26rossmayer (640x273)

…and dress-shopping at this Ross Mayer outlet, which now appears to be gone, but which used to be on Bathurst Street.

2014 11 26chinatown gerrard (640x274)

More shopping here in Chinatown…

2014 11 26chinatown2 (640x268)

…not on Spadina Avenue or Dundas Street West, but rather at Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East.

2014 11 26royal pbride (640x269)

After first meeting at a party, the two halves of the would-be couple run into each other at a screening of The Princess Bride

2014 11 26royaloutside (640x270)

…playing at College Street’s Royal Cinema (which, incidentally, also appeared in Take This Waltz)…

2014 11 26collegewalk (640x274)

…and then stroll west down the street.

2014 11 26diner (640x268)

The couple goes for some deep-fried pickles…

2014 11 26diner ext (640x267)

…at the George Street Diner

2014 11 26georgest diner (640x270)

…which also appears in a later key scene during daylight hours.

2014 11 26riverdalestablishing (640x270)

After this lovely establishing shot of Riverdale Park…

2014 11 26riverdalecafe (640x268)

…we find our main characters getting coffee at the Rooster Coffee House

2014 11 26riverdale2 (640x263)

…and then strolling along Broadview.

2014 11 26club1 polsonpier (640x270)

They also spend a fun night together that includes hanging out at this bar, actually at Polson Pier…

2014 11 26yonge gould (640x269)

…walking past Dundas Square…

2014 11 26spin (640x270)

…and enjoying some ping pong at Spin Toronto.

2014 11 26bonfire (640x271)

Here we have a beautiful evening and a bonfire down below the Scarborough Bluffs.

2014 11 26bluffsbonfire (640x280)

And this may seem all romantic, people, but it’s totally illegal! It’s a violation of section 2.6.3.4. of the city fire code, for starters. You need a permit to use a fire pit, and there are no legal fire pits at the Bluffs.

2014 11 26skinnydip (640x272)

Also, skinny dipping? Yeah, no. Hanlan’s Beach is the city’s designated clothing-optional beach. Everywhere else, you have to wear clothes. So feel free to watch and enjoy this movie, but remember: you live in Toronto the Good, and this story is fictional. You don’t wanna be violating City by-laws!

2014 11 26wedding polsopier (640x270)

Anyway, back on the water we have this beautiful wedding, shot at a nicely dressed-up Polson Pier, which we saw in a different context earlier.

2014 11 26bar computers comrade (640x274)

This bar where Radcliffe and Driver commiserate…

2014 11 26narrowbarc omrade (640x269)

…is Riverdale’s The Comrade.

2014 11 26narrowbar habs (640x269)

It’s not your imagination, by the way: Driver is wearing a Habs shirt.

2014 11 26kid habs (640x269)

There’s also a kid wearing Canadiens PJs and, as far as we can recall, no one wearing any Leafs paraphernalia. There may be some passive aggressive Leafs-bashing going on here.

2014 11 26jeweller annesportu (640x268)

The two pals also go jewellery shopping at Anne Sportun

2014 11 26oneofakind queenwest (640x269)
…and stroll down Queen Street West after.

2014 11 26leslieville cc (640x271)

And because why not, they also enjoy some time watching kids practise karate at the Jimmie Simpson Community Centre.

2014 11 26animationplace2 (640x271)

Chantry’s cool, exposed-brick office…

2014 11 26animationplace (640x269)

…is out on Wellington Street West.

2014 11 26toronto (640x269)

It’s not quite to scale, but it shows how invested the moviemakers were in Toronto as the location…

fWordMap (640x459)

…that Evan B. Harris (who also did the little bits of animation in the movie) mocked up this map of its universe. (You can see the full image here.) Someone should get Brian O’Malley to do a similar map for Scott Pilgrim and sell them at the Spacing store, dammit.

Comments