Dream House: This Is 40

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There is nothing quite like a big sprawling family home in a Hollywood blockbuster to add to a film’s feel good factor. The house is as important to the longevity of a film as the storyline – cases in point; Father of The Bride [classic American charm], Practical Magic [New England witchy-ness], It’s Complicated [Meryl’s dream Ranch], You’ve Got Mail [Meg Ryan’s New York Brownstone] – there is a whole blog dedicated to these iconic movie homes here on Hooked on Houses.

This weekend I watched This Is 40, the latest film by director Judd Apatow [Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin, Bridesmaids, Girls]. Described as the ‘sort of sequel to Knocked Up’ the film follows the next chapter of Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters Pete and Debbie [they played supporting roles in Knocked Up] – now in their 40’s struggling with the transition from young adulthood to middle age, balancing marriage, kids and turning 40.

Apatow’s films owe their success to mining material from his own experiences and that of his friends and do so in a way that is hilarious and always honest. This Is 40 is the most honest yet – featuring Apatow’s real life-wife Leslie Mann and their two children which adds to the authenticity of the film.

The beautiful family house in the film is located just down the street from Apatow’s own home in Brentwood California and is a described as an ‘LA Mansion’ by The Hollywood Reporter.

The filmmakers took over the house for six weeks and redecorated to suit the fictional family. According to The Hollywood Reporter, they decided on a palette of greens, corals and melons. “You want it to be fun and vibrant,” said set decorator Leslie Pope. “That’s shorthand that this is a family with a lot of life.”

I guess what I love about these movie homes is that there is a generic sort of comfort to be to be had from snuggling down with one for an hour or so. They are always tastefully decorated and plentiful with large light-filled rooms, bountiful backyards and generous dream kitchens – yet cosy enough to suit family life, suggesting comfort and security. You always know where you stand with a movie home.

What’s your favourite movie home?

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Note: I just love a movie house door… I could write a whole post about the expectancy behind a good front door – this one is a beauty – smart, traditional and shiny, and I love the window panes on the side.

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Author: Rohini Wahi

Rohini is a London based freelance journalist and trend forecaster for the design industries. She has worked for Elle Decoration, Living Etc, Houzz and Design Sponge amongst others.

She loves a period drama and keeps a tidy home. Launched in 2007 The Beat That My Heart Skipped focuses on home inspirations, design trends, lifestyle and food – coupled with an insight into Rohini’s work and home life – from key picks at trade shows to styled weekend soirees. To contact Rohini for queries, work for hire or just to say hi drop her a line at mail@rohiniwahi.com

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