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Monday, January 24, 2005
Are We in Portland Yet?
America's highest grossing movie of the week was filmed in Portland.
Well, not really. Are We There Yet? follows the adventures of Ice Cube as he attempts to haul his girlfriend's bratty kids up Interstate 5 from PDX to Vancouver BC. But rugged wilderness and gorgeous scenery take the place of the freeway's real-life expanse of strip malls and housing developments.
Or so I'm told. I prefer Friday-era Cube to the new, family friendly Cube and I won't be seeing Are We There Yet? I let the good folks at the IMBD do my dirty work for me. Sure, enough, a Canuck highway stood in for I-5. Only a single scene, set at the Portland International Airport, was filmed here in town.
Hey, look! It's a poseur hoser! Or should that be hoser poseur?
This isn't the first time a Canadian locale has been caught on screen gallivanting around in the City of Roses' clothing. Tom Green's immortal classic Freddy Got Fingered used the same trick. Shot entirely in Vancouver, the film's epic, tear-jerking finale follows Green as he takes to the skies over the "Portland" skyline. But instead of the KOIN Tower and the Big Pink he passes over an endless series of McKenzie wannabes and glass-covered, ultra thin apartment complexes.
For years Hollywood has headed north to exploit exchange rates and cut costs. Considering that Portland reached its threshold for SoCal transplants, temporary or otherwise, in 1993, watching these productions jump over the Northwest isn't so bad...especially if Brain "The Flinstones in Viva Rock Vegas" Levant is sitting in the director's chair.