Some Florida lawmaker may be hellbent on only luring "family friendly" movies to the Sunshine State, but if filmmakers want to make darker pictures set in our state it seems like Puerto Rico can play the role of South Florida pretty well. More and more films are using the island as a cheaper double for the Magic City.
We've talked about Todd Solondz's Life During Wartime before. While it's already screened for critics and film festivals folks (to rave reviews), it won't get released in the US until this summer. But us commoners get a sneak peek in the just released international trailer.
Set, fictionally, in Miami, the film was actual shot entirely in Puerto Rico. And from what we can tell from the trailer we're not sure most people would even notice. The only scene that really seemed unbelievable is the helicopter shot of a beautiful, nearly traffic-free highway. We sure don't have those here.
While Life During Wartime is all about family, it's decidely not family friendly. Atleast not by the Republican definition. Scenes showing a little girl asking to borrow her mom's klonopin (her prescription ran out), Paul "Pee Wee Herman" Reuben's character suggesting that cheating is good for a marriage, and suggestions that China will take over the world certainly don't fit into Sen. Stephen Precourt's outdated vision of The Andy Griffith Show type fair.
Another upcoming film, The Losers, a comic book adaptation is also using Puerto Rico as a Miami stand in.
"It's a combination of tax incentives and the diversity of locales," said a producer of that film to The Hollywood Reporter in a story that followed PR's effort to role out the redcarpet for filmmakers.
So the questions are twofold: Does PR make a believable double for the city you know and love? And would you really mind if the state offered tax credits to darker fair like a Solondz film?