Station Break: Why Do Movies and TV Shows Hate Washington?

Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 5, 2009; 1:00 PM

Washington Post staff writer Paul Farhi was online Tuesday, May 5, at 1 p.m. ET to talk about the latest news in the pop culture world of TV, radio, movies and trends.

Today: Why do so many movies and TV shows hate Washington? Latest example: "State of Play," starring Russell Crowe, in which people in conservative blue suits and richly paneled offices are hatching conspiracies and evil cover-ups. Hmmm, where have we seen this before? Oh, right: In just about every movie about Washington.


Paul Farhi: Greetings, all, and let's get down on it...So, I caught "State of Play" (weird title; what does it mean?) the other night, attracted by the newspaper-uncovers-conspiracy theme. That's there all right, but I was struck by a less remarked-about theme: Washington as Sinister City. It's the same city you see in "24" this season, the same city that was in "All the Presidents Men," "No Way Out," "The Parallax View," "Murder at 1600," "JFK," "Pelican Brief," "Enemy of the State." The common thread is: Nice, apparently smart and attractive people in nice clothes are abusing their power behind those heavily wood-paneled office and conference rooms. You can always count on shots of hearings, dark and wet streets, and the Capitol Dome rising in the night sky (symbolically: our hopes and dreams are being corrupted within). You can always count on the handsomest/prettiest/best dressed people in these movies to be (secretly or otherwise) the most cynical and evil (the casually dressed hero will, of course, save the day). You can also count on the D.C. cops to be clueless or obstructionists (message to D.C. cops: Get a better P.R. person!). And the worst stuff, for some reason, must happen at night (don't know why).

So, next time you see a movie with a night shot of the Capitol, don't be fooled. It isn't there to suggest the promise of democracy, the will of the people, the mightiness of a great nation, etc. It's there to suggest the corruption of power.

Pretty cynical view of government, if you ask me. Think about this next time someone tells you that Hollywood is liberal; when it comes to its view of Washington, everyone in power is equally suspect.

Let's go to the phones.


Silver Spring, Md.: Yes, exactly! This is why I loved The West Wing in the beginning --because it poked fun at D.C. without hating on us. It showed people who loved their jobs and wanted to make the country better. Of course, eventually Sorkin left, and we were left with a typical John Wells angst-fest where everyone hates their jobs and each other. Also, everyone thinks that all there is in D.C. are elected officials and politicians. Um, hello, what about the civil service?

Paul Farhi: Right, "West Wing" was mostly an exception. And bureaucrats are usually just functionaries or background players in these movies and TV shows (they're usually the people handing the star an important, plot-altering message...)


Rockville, Md.: Paul, Regarding Hollywood's hate of Washington, couldn't it be hate of those perceived as powerful more generally? And as a corollary, what about the anti-intellectual bent of Hollywood? Many of our most memorable villains are also the best-spoken and most powerful in the movie, e.g., Darth Vader, Alan Rickman in almost anything he's been in (Quigley Down Under, Robin Hood, etc.). I think it ties into an American (and perhaps British before us) popular mythos of overthrowing or at least checking the powerful and often best-educated. What say you?

Paul Farhi: Sure. The theme of power corrupting is as old as Shakespeare, of course (and probably older, but I don't know the Greek stuff and/or Chaucer).


Arlington, Va.: To some degree L.A. is the opposite of D.C., but both cities are about status. Hollywood is about how you look, and what movie you are in. D.C. is more about substance than look. People are interested in what you have accomplished more than what bar you can get into. L.A. power is fake and amounts to virtually nothing outside Hollywood and is often fleeting, D.C. power on the other hand can affect the all of the U.S. for years. Hollywood resents that D.C. is not in awe of the movie world.

Paul Farhi: Interesting. In this vein, there was one character in "State of Play" who clearly was Hollywood's idea of a figure that doesn't exist in Washington: Jason Bateman's sleazy P.R. fixer. I'm not saying that there aren't sleazy P.R. fixers in Washington; I'm just saying they don't look like Bateman's character--slicked-back hair, no tie, flashy suit, flashy car. He belonged on "Entourage," not a movie about Washington's wicked ways.


D.C. hate: Hollywood doesn't hate D.C. They just use the stereotype. If a movie is set in D.C., it has to involve politics, power, corruption, and espionage. Otherwise it would be set in New York or L.A., where, it seems, 99 percent of movies and TV shows are set.

Paul Farhi: Well, I'll acknowledge that there aren't a whole lot of dramatic alternatives when it comes to Washington. Doubtful that anyone would make a movie about, say, the Federal Trade Commission or the FCC UNLESS they could somehow weave in the power, corruption and espionage angles.


D.C.: Two exceptions are "The Hunt for Red October" and "Clear and Present Danger." There's an element of Corrupt D.C. in the latter, but mostly they're about government and military people trying to do the right thing.

Paul Farhi: True. And those are good examples of earnest federal employees(Jack Ryan, specifically). Also, the good sleuths on "X Files," "Bones" and "NCIS" comes to mind here.


Hollywood on the Potomac: It's because Washington is the east coast equivalent of Hollywood: self-important people making self-interested decisions that they believe will change the world, hidden from the hoi polloi.

Paul Farhi: Naw, that's too cynical...


Alexandria, Va.: Hi, I think you misread some aspects of State of Play. What the screenplay attacks is secrecy in government and the over-reliance of contractor for core government functions, like national security.

The other side of State of Play is the friendly and sometimes pointed use of everyday people, places and businesses in the D.C. area to show that real people go about regular lives here: Ben's Chili Bowl, a Metro station, an aging hotel in Rosslyn, etc.

Paul Farhi: But this makes my point entirely: "Regular" people, good; "Powerful" people, bad.


King George, Va.: Isn't it more true to say that Hollywood hates the Republican Party, which ruled the presidency for eight years and for 20 of the last 28 years?

Paul Farhi: I don't really see that. In most (all?) of these movies and TV shows, the political affiliation of the villain politicians is never stated or clear.


RIP Dom Deluise: I presume he will be most remembered for the Cannonball Run pictures and that game show with Burt Reynolds, but my favorite performance of his may be as the director at the end of Blazing Saddles.

"Not in the Face!" Dom DeLuise Dead At 75 (MTV News, May 5)

Paul Farhi: Was never a big Dom fan (was anyone?), but, yes, R.I.P...


Fairfax, Va.: One of the easiest ways to generate suspense in a film is through the unraveling of a conspiracy. The lone hero against malicious powers is always a crowd pleaser. And where is there more potential for malicious power than the seat of the federal government? Besides, the monuments look cool after dark.

Paul Farhi: Yes, and its amazing what a little mist will do, too. Remember what it did (or did NOT) for Georgetown in "The Exorcist"?


Olney, Md.: Tip of the old rabbit ears to Dom DeLuise, who died in his sleep early last evening.

He was a side kick of Dean Martin on his TV show, as well as Burt Reynolds in the Cannonball movies, a game show regular, and the star of his own sitcom, Lotsa Luck on NBC during the 1973 TV season.

He truly was a lovable guy, who was a talented chef and a maestro of fine living. Dom DeLuise, actor, comedian and chef, dies (AP, May 5)

Paul Farhi: The funniest thing that I remember about Dom DeLuise was a parody of him and Burt Reynolds doing their pie-in-the-pants bit on "The Tonight Show." Can't remember where I saw that (probably "SNL"), but it was better than the original, much-played clip of Dom and Burt...


Washington, D.C.: There was also "breach" and "Shattered Glass." Both had corrupt characters, but they both put D.C .in a pretty good light, I thought.

Paul Farhi: "Breach" was about a traitorous FBI agent, and, yes, I guess it made the bureau (or maybe just Ryan Phillippe) look good, ultimately. Not sure how "Shattered Glass"--which was about journalist Stephen Glass' unmasking as a fraud at the New Republic--made "Washington" look good, however.


Washington, D.C.: I had an interesting discussion with an ignorant 20-year old from Long Island last week about D.C. He had many of the same misconceptions as the rest of the country holds about D.C. (re-electing Barry doesn't mean we don't deserve basic democratic rights like representation), but after trying to educate him on all that is great about D.C., I got to end my argument with: "If DC is so bad, what are you doing living and working here? Go home."

That always shuts 'em up.

Paul Farhi: I only get exercised about Hollywood's distortions when someone actually starts to believe them. There isn't a profession or a place that movies really consistently depict accurately.


Washington, D.C. : The Exorcist and Georgetown: Oooohhhh...I saw that at a theater on upper Wisconsin Avenue when it came out and it had the most violent audience reaction I have ever seen. People screaming, walking out, etc. But my reaction was prolonged, because I was managing a Georgetown book shop and living in Glover Park, so every night when I walked home (much younger then) the shortest route took me right by the house on Prospect St. that was used for the exteriors of Ellen Burstyn's house. Man, on a chilly, windy night I walked a little faster.

Paul Farhi: Did you hear the theme music as you walked by?...And I remember seeing it as a kid in a theater in Los Angeles. Same audience reaction. Hard to imagine now.


K Street: I guess the answer to your question is because it's the sexiest of plots involving powerful people.

I'm always more interested in how a city is portrayed, particularly Washington. "State of Play" did better than most -- not too many geographical impossibilities (living in Adams Morgan yet boarding Metro in Rosslyn? Although I realize there are production/location reasons for this), and they showed bits of D.C. that most films don't. Good shout-outs, too, like Ben's Chili Bowl (and the Bill Cosby sign) ... the crummy motel in Arlington, etc.

Paul Farhi: I had to feel for that crummy motel, the Americana, which I believe some character actually calls "a crummy motel" in the movie. I mean, there was no hiding/disguising the name of that joint, which is very prominent on the main drag in Crystal City. Can't be good for business...


Cleveland Park, Washington, D.C.: re: State of Play

I like how the D.C. cops showed up in Crystal City to make an arrest.

Paul Farhi: Ha! Last night on "24," the D.C. cops "checked up" on a character because his neighbors had complained about excessive noise. I thought that was a bit of a stretch, too.


Morristown, N.J.: Paul:

I guess I'll answer your question with another question: What's to like about Washington? Tax evading cabinet members? Money-grubbing congress people? Contemptuous politicians who don't care about the average American? All of the above?

Watching "Mr. Smith Goez To Washington" chokes me up, not because it is such a great film, but because nothing like that would ever happen within the Beltway today. Politicians who are quick to mock the tea parties should realize the anger out there. Films are simply reflecting that frustration.

Paul Farhi: You liked "Mr. Smith" because "nothing like that would ever happen within the Beltway today"? I got news for you: Nothing like that would ever have happened then, either.


Fairfax, Va.: I loved that mist shot of Max Von Sydow arriving at the Georgetown house carrying his doctor's bag (with Exorcist equipment in it). Classic.

Paul Farhi: "Exorcist" might be the ultimate Washington-hate movie. It depicts a town where the atmosphere is so evil that little girls get possessed by the devil. That's EVIL.


Greater Green Bay, Wisc.: Really Bad Washington Movie -- "Man of the Year," with Robin Williams as a Jon Stewart-type who is elected president by a computer glitch. It turned into a thriller about an evil corporation about halfway through and disappointed both fans of comedy and political thrillers.

Paul Farhi: Good point, GGB. A common feature of these movies is the Corrupt Corporation that is Pulling All the Strings (CCPAS). In "State o' Play," the CCPAS is a Blackwater-like defense contractor called Point Corp. In "24" this season, the CCPAS is a Blackwater-like defense contractor called Starkwood.


Hollywood...: DC isn't in awe of Hollywood? HAHAHAH! Whenever a star shows up to testify on the Hill, lawmakers flock to them. A movie shoots in a D.C. neighborhood, and it's big news. And if D.C. isn't in awe of Hollywood, can you explain the drooling over the arrival of Kal Penn? (Ask your fellow chatters Liz Kelly and the Reliable Source women.) The notion that Hollywood types are resentful is ridiculous1 More likely, they really believe that D.C. is corrupt.

Paul Farhi: Stars we like, sure. Film shoots we like, too, (as long as they keep spending money and don't try up traffic too long). But my point is about the thematic depiction of Washington in movies. Washington doesn't look good there.


From a DC PR "fixer": I echo that. I don't even drive a car!

But Bateman was probably the best part of that movie.

Paul Farhi: Yeah, he's two for two in my book: Good work in "State of Play" and as the troubled dad-to-be in "Juno." Couldn't say as I liked him before (and please don't say, "But what about 'Arrested Development'?")


The Airless Cubicle: Paul, would you go see a movie with these lines in them (based on my job and co-workers):

Sinister Person 1: Man, that was a terrible rush hour! Sinister Person 2: No kidding. I was stuck all the way from Vienna into town. How about those Capitals? Sinister Person 3: Who's got the agenda for the Sinister Event We Have Planned? Sinister Person 1: The printer was stuck this morning. Besides, we can't have the Conspiracy Meeting this morning. Bill has a dental appointment and Alice is on annual leave. Sinister Person 2: Do you mean I brought donuts for nothing? Sinister Person 1: Oh, we can leave them out in the break room for the Evil Minions. Sinister Person 4: (entering) Sorry I'm late, the MARC train was late. How about those Caps?

Paul Farhi: Hahaha!...Yeah, real life: Not as good as the movies.


I had to feel for that crummy motel, the Americana: But Paul, it IS a crummy motel. The view is of an elevated highway, right next to the windows!

Paul Farhi: But couldn't they change the name or hide it or something. It's as if the only part you ever got in a movie was as "Deranged Ax Murderer."


"Exorcist" might be the ultimate Washington-hate movie. : Really? But it's not about corrupt politicians.

Paul Farhi: Metaphorically.


There isn't a profession or a place that movies really consistently depict accurately. : True. They rely on stereotypes because it makes character development (or lack of development) easy. I'm getting my Master's degree in library science and in my current class we had a whole unit on combating librarian stereotypes in the movies. I thought it was silly to worry too much about it, but some librarians take it quite seriously. I joked that we could send librarians to movies being filmed so we could give our stamp of approval "no librarians were harmed by stereotypes in this movie!" But I don't think anyone thought it was funny.

Maybe Congress should form a committee on how they can combat negative stereotypes by monitoring all films made so they can speak out against it.

Paul Farhi: But is the librarian stereotype so bad? I mean, the librarian is usually depicted as a mousy type who's actually very hot behind the bookish manner (c.f., Shirley Jones in "Music Man"). So, add it up: Smart and sexy, just hiding it. That's not so terrible...


Herndon, Va.: Mr. F: I didn't think the D.C. police came off too badly in the movie -- at least the lieutenant(?) in charge of the case. It's not just D.C. getting pounded. Any entity which has power is automatically suspect, and probably criminal, or has criminals in it - in movieland. It's pretty much been that way since post-Viet Nam/Watergate/whatever -- every major institution is not to be trusted. And look at the way "Hollywood" treats Hollywood in the movies -- you wouldn't want to live or work in what's usually portrayed on the screen as the "real" Hollywood.

Paul Farhi: Excellent point, Herndon. For every "Singing in the Rain," there are 26 "Get Shortys" and "Entourages" about how awful just about everyone in Hollywood is. Talk about cliches: What comes to mind when you hear/read the phrase "Hollywood agent"?


Washington films..: How about Clint Eastwood in In the Line of Fire?

Then again, he did come back with Absolute Power.

Paul Farhi: Those cancel each other out, I think...


Arlington, Va.: re: D.C. movies -- they go all the way back to Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Idealistic rube vs. rich corrupt senior senator. I've always thought it should be required annual viewing for every federal govt employee, just to remind everyone to stop and look around and think about what the monuments represent.

Paul Farhi: In my experience, federal employees are very earnest, smart, hard-working folk. I can't speak for every politician (or ANY politician), but the "bureaucrats" I've encountered wouldn't need any reminding.


D.C. not in awe of Hollywood...: You misunderstood. A previous poster used Hollywood's resentment of D.C.'s lack of awe as the reason behind D.C.'s depiction in the movies. I say, D.C. is definitely in awe of Hollywood!

Paul Farhi: Ah. Sorry. Yeah, Hollywood people probably don't think for two seconds about Washington's attitude toward movies. And if they did, they'd realize that people in Washington really like movies (including the Washington-hate kind we've been discussing)...


Formerly of 20036: The problem is that D.C. isn't really known for much beyond the government, so if someone's going to set a movie in D.C. it's probably going to be connected in some way to the government. We're not like London, where it's possible for an entire neighborhood not to have anyone working with or for the government in some way. So why waste the movie to film in D.C. if you're going to avoid those monument shots? And if it's about the government, the politicians are going to be the good guys or the bad guys and, considering politicians' overall ratings, if you're financing a movie would you want to back one where the politicians are the good guys?

Paul Farhi: Well, SOME of the politicians could be good guys, no? But they rarely are...But your point is on target: Hard to imagine a movie being set here that isn't going to be about the federal government in some way. Have there been any, other than "The Exorcist"?...


Baltimore, Md.: Re last week's discussion of animated shows: Paul, given your animus toward Family Guy (which I share) I was wondering if you ever saw the South Park episode that eviscerates the show? Eric Cartman, of all people, goes on a campaign to get the show canceled because it never has a plot and just consists of jokes strung together at random. When he gets to FOX headquarters in L.A., he learns the awful truth: there is no writing staff, per se, but a tankful of manatees who push balls with a single word on them through a hole in their tank. The balls, when put together, form the basis of stupid gags like: "Gee, Lois, remember the time I took a kangaroo to Chicago and got it a job with the symphony?" Man, it was nasty and accurate.

Paul Farhi: No, but that sounds hilarious and brilliant. As I've said before "South Park" is among the rare shows that have gotten better with age.


Washington, D.C.: What I hate about D.C. in the movies, is that the D.C. that is always focused on is the D.C. "as seat of government", the political city. It's never used or even intimated in these films that residents actually live here. Strangely, that perception carries over as most of my friends back home were surprised to find out that I actually live in D.C. ...that there are actually neighborhoods, gas stations, grocery stores..etc.

Paul Farhi: This is an interesting side effect of Washington movies/TV shows/media coverage. People can't imagine that there is an actual city here that has nothing to do with what they see on TV. People from out of town have a very distorted idea about what living here is like...


You are absolutely correct: I can't think of a single DC-based movie that isn't sinister and/or cynical. Even comedies. From bits of fluff like My Fellow Americans, to more highbrow fare like Thank You for Smoking, D.C. really gets a bad rap. Even the National Treasure movies have an anti-government twist.

That said, I still remember, 16 years later, the huge pangs of homesickness I felt watching A Few Good Men (another government conspiracy flick) while living in France. I excitedly told all my friends that that's where I lived. I'm not sure they were too impressed.

Paul Farhi: Did they even want to know what Tip O'Neill was really like?


Filming times?: I thought they filmed so many scenes at night because it would be easier to get permits/access to film, given the heavy volume of traffic (car and peds) during the day?

Paul Farhi: Probably so, but you could film those static, "filler" shots of monuments at any time, without a lot of disruption.


Have there been any, other than "The Exorcist"?... : Being There. Broadcast News.

Paul Farhi: Neither, really. "Being There" is about a dunce who becomes a big-time Washington pol; "Broadcast News" is about journalists who work in Washington and cover important Washington-type issues....


Richmond, Va.: I think Donnie Darko was supposed to be set in a N. Va. suburb in the 80s. It was very subtle though (i.e. Skins game on TV)

Paul Farhi: Judges?...Ding ding ding! I think we'll allow that one--our first movie set in Washington (or the area) that wasn't about the things that movies set in Washington are always about.


Non-political D.C. movie: "Chances Are" -- some views of monuments, but other than that, just a "Ghost" wannabe.

Paul Farhi: Set in Washington? Okay, we're up to two now. Or maybe 1.75.


Silver Spring again: I think it's not really D.C. that gets pummeled, it's the people who work here. Hollywood seems to have a very bizarre notion of how government works. And, with apologies to the librarian, I think that it is a bit more important for the population to have realistic (in addition to fantastic, I love a good political thriller) portrayals of government or at least positive ones. There's room for State of Play and season 1 of the West Wing.

And the X-Files was a government conspiracy show with cops as the main characters. I think law enforcement is one of the few professions that has nuanced portrayals in film and T.V.

Paul Farhi: Not sure the distinction matters, though. Washington movies are about "the people who work here" and the bad stuff they do as result of being in privileged positions in the federal government.


Legally Blonde 2: Is set in D.C., although even it has a sinister supporting protagonist.

Paul Farhi: And another Reese Witherspoon movie, the great "Election," isn't set here, but it does end with Reese's character, Tracey Flick, going to work for Congressman--the ultimate expression of Tracey's maniacal ambition and backstabbing ways.


Non-political D.C. movie: "Private Parts" documented, among other things, Howard Stern's time in D.C.

Paul Farhi: Judges? [Sound of claxon]...Oh, sorry. Stern just passes through town in "Private Parts," and really only briefly. It's not really "set" here.


Non pol D.C. movie: D.C. Cab, starring Mr. T.

Paul Farhi: Good one!


Arlington, Va.: Wedding Crashers was set in D.C. And it wasn't really about corrupt politicians.

Paul Farhi: Not REALLY, but the politician angle was part of it. But, yeah, that's another set-in-Washington-but-not-about-the-usual-Washington-stuff movie, I think...


Pittsburgh, Pa.: "Remember the Titans"? Set in NoVa.

Paul Farhi: We'll take it!


"Being There" is about a dunce who becomes a big-time Washington pol; "Broadcast News" is about journalists who work in Washington and cover important Washington-type issues.... : But Being There isn't so much about the government, it's about the simple minded dude, how he sees things, and how he is misunderstood. And Broadcast News is not really about the government, either. It's about the newscasters and their lives. What they cover is just a backdrop.

Paul Farhi: Yeah, but "Broadcast News" doesn't really exist without Washington politics and news. Same with "Murphy Brown."


More non-politics movies, D.C.: You're forgetting "An American President" and "Dave"!

I loved Dave and every time I see it it makes me nostalgic!

Paul Farhi: I liked "Dave," too, but it's ALL about Washington. It's even about corruption, though much lighter about it than many other set-in-Washington films.


If we're counting the "D.C. Area"...: Depending on how far out we get to go...would "The Blair Witch Project" count?

Paul Farhi: Naw. We're reaching here...


20001 : Non-political D.C. movie: The Replacements -- Keanu Reeves, Gene Hackman, Jon Favreau and that funny English Guy.

Paul Farhi: Yes. The team the replacements played for was "The Washington Sentinels," if I (and Google) recall correctly.


That'd be Canberra: "This is an interesting side effect of Washington movies/TV shows/media coverage. People can't imagine that there is an actual city here that has nothing to do with what they see on TV. People from out of town have a very distorted idea about what living here is like... "

True. Their perception is actually what Canberra, Australia, is like. (I'm exaggerating, but it's pretty bleak in Canberra. I suspect Brasilia is like that, too)

Paul Farhi: I think their perception of Washington is actually much sexier. When I think Canberra or Brasilia, I think dull. But people outside Washington assume we're hobnobbing with the people they see on TV. I, personally, don't recall going jogging with Nancy Pelosi or bowling with Newt Gingrich anytime recently...


D.C.: The segment in "Borat" where he's looking at Hummers was filmed in Gaithersburg; there were a couple other parts filmed nearby as well.

Paul Farhi: Yes, and the gay pride parade thing and (I believe) the Bob Barr interview segment were filmed here, too. But it's not even close to a Washington-centric movie.


Los Angeles, Calif.: "American President" or whatever it was called with Michael Douglas and Annette Bening was a pretty fair representation of both lobbyists and government officials. Not shiny happy, but fair, I thought.

Paul Farhi: Yes, a likeable movie...


Mt. Vernon, Va.: "Hard to imagine a movie being set here that isn't going to be about the federal government in some way." "Broadcast News" wasn't really about the federal government. "Being There" had only a tangential reference. "St. Elmo's Fire," "D.C. Cab" and "Talk to Me" come to mind. And what about the upcoming "Night at the Museum II"...or is the Smithsonian considered federal government?

Paul Farhi: Ah: "Talk to Me," about local radio legend Petey Green--that's a great one; all local, with no connection whatever to the usual Washington themes. "Night at the Museum II" looks like it's going to count, too, but I fear that a major plot element is going to involve some politician's efforts to mess with the museum, somehow. So maybe it won't.


Pittsburgh, Pa.: The musical (and subsequent film) "Damn Yankees."

Paul Farhi: Excellent!


I, personally, don't recall going jogging with Nancy Pelosi or bowling with Newt Gingrich anytime recently... : No, but don't you see someone important occasionally? I've seen plenty and you get used to it. People from out of town think that's exciting.

Paul Farhi: I'm talking about the "average" person's experience of living here. And occasionally almost everyone will come across some only-in-Washington type experience, but mostly it's rare. It's like living in L.A. People think you're bumping into movie stars all the time. Well, I grew up in L.A., and my random encounters with celebs probably amount to fewer than 10 in 15 years.


Replacement was filmed in B'more, though: and it was painful obvious that it was filmed there, too.

Wasn't that that awful remake of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" with Nicole Kidman set in D.C.? Not that I really remember, since it was so bad I stopped watching about 5 minutes in.

Paul Farhi: I think some scenes of "The Invasion" (the "Invasion" remake) were shot here, but not sure about it's Washington themes...


Richmond, Va.: Since you love the Snugli blanket, did you see the spoof ad for ShamWowSungli? You wear it and clean up spills with the same superabsorbant blankie.

Paul Farhi: What a great idea! That's not a parody--that's a product in the making...


Paul Farhi: Okay, folks, before I get confused about which category of movie we're discussing, I'm going to take the cheap way out and quit here. (If this were a movie, I would end with a moving crane shot of the Mall at sunrise, with a rippling American flag laid over it; yeah, it's a ridiculous cliche, but it's MY bad movie)...Anyway, we can try this again next week. I appreciate you stopping by. And as always...regards to all...Paul.


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