California Construction Law Blog Goes to the Movies – Part 2

Let’s face it, architects are the rock stars of the construction industry.

Think I.M. PeiFrank Gehry, Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier and even Michelangelo.

Sure, contractors, and even some owners, may get to play the electric guitar solo on occasion. But it’s the architects who the fans are throwing their knickers at.

Need proof?  One need only look at the silver screen . . .

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1. Adam Sandler as architect Michael Newman in Click (2006) – Architect discovers that remote controls are cooler than BIM.

2. Woody Harrelson as architect David Murphy in Indecent Proposal (1993) – Architect tries to win it big in Las Vegas to fund dream house for he and his honey but loses it all, including his wife.

3. Wesley Snipes as architect Flipper Purify in Jungle Fever (1991) – Things get hot and steamy in the architecture office but are decidedly cold outside.

4. Virginia Madsen as architect Beth Stanfield in Firewall (2006) – Architect and doting mother shows that it helps to have prepared the design drawings when planning an escape, as banker husband saves the day from cyber criminals.

5. Tom Selleck as architect Peter Mitchell in Three Men and a Baby (1987) – Architect and his bachelor friends learn that working is kids play compared to parenting.

6. Henry Ford as architect and Juror Number 8 in Twelve Angry Men (1957) – Architect and juror proves once again that architects are smarter, more thoughtful and more civilized than the rest of us.

7. Tom Hanks as architect Sam Baldwin in Sleepless in Seattle (1993) – Recently widowed architect living on a floating house (proof, as well, that architects live in cooler places than the rest of us too) rediscovers love with the help of his son, a radio talk show and his son’s acronym speaking girlfriend.

8. Steve Martin as architect Newton Davis in Housesitter (1992) – Architect builds dream house for girlfriend.  Architect gets dumped by girlfriend.  Architect meets attractive compulsive liar.  Former girlfriend gets jealous.  Architect and attractive compulsive liar live happily ever.  So there!

9. Luke Wilson as architect Matt in My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) – Architect shows that architects are not only girl-magnets who can attract tall, blonde superhero girlfriends, but are also manly enough not to have issues if their girlfriends can bench press them (or a car).

10. Matt Dillon as Pat Healy, a private investigator and fake architect, in There’s Something About Mary (1998) – Private investigator under the guise of a worldly, thoughtful and respected architect (are there any others?) tries to win the heart of a former target over other romantic rivals.

11. Charles Bronson as architect Paul Kersey in Death Wish (1974) – Architect demonstrates that while architects may be smarter, more thoughtful and more civilized than the rest of us, if you piss them off, watch the hell out!

12. Gary Cooper as architect Howard Roark in The Fountainhead (1949) – A movie about an architect and architecture that has nothing to do with architects and architecture.

13. Matthew Broderick as architect Steven Kovacs in The Cable Guy (1996) –  Typical architect-buddy-stalker movie.

14. Michael Keaton as architect Jonathan Rivers in White Noise (2005) – Architect. Electronic devices. Horror!

15. Jude Law as landscape architect Will Francis in Breaking and Entering (2006) – Landscape architect ponders his life, his relationship with his wife, and his unexpected and unintended relationship with a hooker, a seamstress and a kid who repeatedly burglarizes his architecture office.

16. Keanu Reeves as architect Alex Wyler in The Lake House (2006) – Another architect who lives in a house that is cooler-than-yours travels through the space-time continuum in search of love.

17. Michelle Pfeiffer as architect Melanie Parker in One Fine Day (1996) – Stressed-out architect and single mother finds love in the chaos of work-life imbalance and impromptu Halloween costumes.

18. Paul Newman as architect Doug Roberts in The Towering Inferno (1974) – Architect saves the day from a typical unscrupulous, cost-cutting contractor.

19. Liam Neeson as architect Daniel in Love Actually (2003) – Architect shows that architects can attract not only tall, blonde superhero girlfriends but tall, blonde supermodels as well.

20. Ashton Kucher as architecture student Evan Treborn in The Butterfly Effect (2004) –  Another architect (albeit an architecture student) travels through the space-time continuum, but this time to selflessly help others.

For iconic buildings in the movies (both real and fictional) see California Construction Law Goes to the Movies – Part 1.

2 Responses to “California Construction Law Blog Goes to the Movies – Part 2”

  1. Dave Ross

    Garret, now we know at least one of your hobbies. Are you considering a similar list for portrayals of contractors in movies? Most of them coming to mind for me are on the dark side. For example, in Naked Gun the main villain, businessman and philanthropist Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalban) explains his cruel streak to Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley) something like this: “Ah, you have forgotten that I was once a general contractor!”

    Does anyone have some more positive contractor movies? How about Kurt Russell in “Overboard?”

    • Garret Murai

      Thanks Dave. I’m sure I could find some movies portrayals of contractors and builders. James Karen as Mr. Teague, the developer who removed the headstones but not the graves in Poltergeist comes to mind. But, as you point out, finding “positive” portrayals of contractors in the movies may be the more difficult task. Of course, perhaps no other profession gets as bad a rap in the movies as attorneys (e.g., Al Pacino as John Milton in the Devil’s Advocate where Al Pacino is literally the devil incarnate).


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