Nine Things 'Blue Jasmine' Got Wrong About San Francisco
Woody Allen's latest movie, Blue Jasmine, takes place in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The movie follows the slow and steady neurotic meltdown of Jasmine (played wonderfully by Cate Blanchett, by the way) as she moves from New York to San Francisco to reconnect with her sister, Ginger (also played wonderfully by Sally Hawkins) and start a new life after she goes completely bankrupt.
This isn't the first time Woody has filmed in our fine city. In 1969 he shot Take the Money and Run here, and in 1972 he wrote and starred in (but didn't direct) Play it Again Sam with his then muse Diane Keaton. That said, you'd think he'd have a grasp on how it is to live in San Francisco, but Blue Jasmine has some details that would suggest otherwise. Sure, he captures an appropriate SF vibe, but there are some nitpicky things that are totally un-SF.
SFO is not that fancy. When Jasmine arrives to San Francisco, she walks through the airport and everyone around her looks nicely dressed. There are definitely not enough people who looked like they just rolled out of bed and girls traipsing about in Ugg boots.
Nice cab drivers. She takes a cab to the city and talks down to her cab driver. She makes him wait by the curb and orders him to unload dozens of Louis Vuitton luggage. SF cabbies would not go for that.
The "humble" Mission apartment. Jasmine stays in Ginger's apartment which is located on 305 South Van Ness. Even though Ginger has an East Coast accent, she is very Mission-y. Her apartment has a nice TV. A gal like her would be the type that would say, "I don't own a TV."
The prehistoric landline. Ginger owns a cell phone, but also a landline — and a non-cordless phone that looks like it belongs in 1983. Landlines are on the verge of extinction and I am pretty sure that a phone like the one in the apartment is no longer manufactured.
Inappropriate weather wardrobe. There are two specific scenes that bothered me. One took place near Ocean Beach on 48th Avenue and Rivera. The other near the Beach Chalet. In both scenes, Ginger is wearing a sleeveless shirt. With that chilly ocean breeze, this is impossible...unless she is cold-blooded.
The tackiest men's wardrobe ever. Ginger's boyfriend, Chili (Bobby Cannavale) is seen in some of the most hideous pieces of clothing suitable for the Euro-trashiest clubs on the face of the Earth. This does not speak well of San Francisco menswear.
A ban on plastic bags. When we see Ginger at work in a local neighborhood grocery store, she bags the groceries in plastic bags. This is a big no-no in our reusable grocery bag city.
Having a nervous breakdown in public. At one point in the movie, Jasmine goes out in the street and is on the verge of a breakdown. She starts insanely talking to herself while passerbys stare at her. Locals never pay attention to people talking to themselves on the street.
Finding true love. At one point in the movie, Jasmine says, "If you can't fall in love in San Francisco, you can't fall in love anywhere." Tell that to the high percentage of disgruntled single men and women in the city.
Blue Jasmine is currently playing at the Clay Theatre on 2261 Fillmore St.