25 January 2004 | WriterDude
Location, location, location
(This is an edited/revised post):
This film deeply affected me in two ways, which I will present in reverse chronological order:
2) The movie was shot largely on location, in and around my hometown of Santa Barbara. When I saw it in 1996, I was nine years removed from home and doing radio in Missouri. It was good to see home again.
1) However, I had the opportunity to go home in early 1995 when this was being shot. To his security team's utter horror, I attempted to park near the SB County Courthouse, somewhere dangerously close to (read: half a block away from) Andy Garcia's trailer. After several contentious profanities were hurled at me I moved the car, during which time I uttered a wish out loud that the film would turn out to be an utterly unwatchable piece of crap, and would completely tank at the box office.
Moral of the story? Don't go on location and then let your people treat a local like something stuck to your shoe -- he just might have unknown powers in putting curses.
To the film's credit, they did have the good taste to shoot at Papagallo's on De La Guerra Plaza (try the ceviche), and it also showed the annual Summer Solstice Parade in a pretty good light.
EDIT: Since I wrote most of the above, I've had occasion to revisit this movie (there was nothing better on HBO that night), and I've reluctantly come to the conclusion it really is funny. Mostly due to the performances of Alan Arkin and Joe ("Joey Pants") Pantoliano.
Okay, so I ran afoul of Andy Garcia's people during the shoot and they honked me off. And then my first viewing of the film left me cold. I've since warmed up to it (and removed my negative comments in this edit). Take that for what it's worth -- and I hope it's worth something, because I'm not a big fan of eating crow in public.