November 11th, 2010


The United States of Movies

Someone has taken a US map and named an appropriate movie for each state. Or rather, one movie set there that seemed reasonably typical. Or, in one desperate case, a film that mocks the dullness of the state.* In another desperate case, they assigned the same film to two states.**

They skipped Washington, DC, which is a pity: so many great films are set there, from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to All the President's Men. Puerto Rico and the other possessions and territories are also missing.

I recently saw Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- California's assigned movie -- for the first time, and I can see the appropriateness. But we're a big state, and plenty of other great and characteristically Californian films are set here. Movies that couldn't have happened anywhere else, like Chinatown or Milk. You could even do a Sean Penn California trilogy with Fast Times, Milk, and The Falcon and the SNowman all showing different aspects of this very diverse state. Then there's Monsters versus Aliens, which is as much about Modesto versus San Francisco as it is about anything else.

And there are so many other movies that embody the values, culture, history, or geography of a particular state, as well as being set there. Take a look at the list and come up with your own suggestions. And we may as well be international about it. What movies embody your whole nation? Or your region? Or both?

*"Delaware. We're in Delaware," Wayne's World.
** Both Wisconsin and North Dakota were assigned Jesus Camp.
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