South Florida as much of a star in 'There's Something About Mary' as Cameron Diaz
Local10.com revisits prominent locations featured in 1998 comedy 20 years later
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Twenty years ago this Sunday, a little romantic comedy about a Rhode Island man who tracks down his high school prom date in South Florida opened in theaters. It went on to top the box office for the next two weekends and became the third highest-grossing movie that year.
The year was 1998 and the movie was "There's Something About Mary."
Directed by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly and starring Cameron Diaz, Ben Stiller and Matt Dillon, the movie became a surprise hit and had America laughing with its memorable "hair gel" scene. Who could forget Mary Jensen's (Diaz) signature hairdo?
Filmed during the height of Diaz's rise to stardom, "There's Something About Mary" ranks 27th on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Laughs: America's Funniest Movies" list.
Several South Florida businesses and locales were prominently featured in the raunchy comedy.
Local10.com takes a look back at those locations, some still recognizable and some long since gone.
Cumberland High School
Although the beginning of the movie takes place in Rhode Island, South Florida actually stood in for the high school where Mary and the object of her affection, Ted Stroehmann (Stiller), are first introduced. City Hall in Plantation, 400 NW 73rd Ave., substituted for Cumberland High School.
Mary's Rhode Island House
When brace-faced Ted walks young Mary from school to her home, they are actually walking along Granada Boulevard in Coral Gables.
As Ted gives Mary's mentally challenged brother, Warren (W. Earl Brown), a ride on his back, they come to a two-story colonial-style mansion. The house at 3300 Granada Blvd. belonged to former Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese at the time.
Another house was also used as a stand-in for Mary's Rhode Island home when Ted shows up later to take her to prom.
"Franks and Beans" Bathroom
As Ted uses the bathroom during the notable "franks and beans" scene, the restroom and window through which he spots Mary's mom helping her change into her gown was filmed on a set at Greenwich Studios, 12100 NE 16th Ave., in North Miami. The studio was also a filming location for movies like "Ace Ventura: Pet Detective," "The Birdcage" and "Wild Things."
Shortly after Pat Healy (Dillon) arrives in Miami to help Ted find Mary, he is picked up by his friend, Sully (Jeffrey Tambor), outside a familiar South Beach establishment -- the Big Pink diner at 157 Collins Ave. Inexplicably, though, an astute South Floridian will notice that they leave Big Pink and, in the very next scene, are shown heading east on the MacArthur Causeway -- in the direction of Miami Beach.
Sully's home was at an old art deco apartment building in Miami. The apartments were later demolished to make way for the recently erected Le Parc at Brickell, a 12-story, 128-unit condominium building at 1600 SW First Ave., although the listed address in the movie is 229 Court St., apartment 43.
Mary's Miami House
Mary's house at 2066 N. Bayshore Drive, overlooking Biscayne Bay, was prominently featured in the movie.
This was the house where all the central characters convened near the film's conclusion, including a cameo from a young Green Bay Packers quarterback named Brett Favre, who points out that he's in town to play the Dolphins.
It made headlines on March 26, 2008, when a section of a construction crane plummeted through the Spanish-style roof of the two-story house that a contractor was using for storage, killing two people.
Aqua Golf Driving Range
The scenic driving range where Healy first meets Mary is just down the street from WPLG at the Aqua Golf Driving Range, 2250 S. Park Road, in Pembroke Park.
Rumor has it that some of the film's crew accidentally stumbled upon the business when they got lost on their way to a Dolphins game.
They pitched the location to the Farrelly brothers, and alas Pembroke Park made its big-screen debut.
Matheson Hammock County Park
Matheson Hammock County Park is the setting for several scenes in the movie, including when Healy participates in a flag football game with Mary, Warren and Warren's mentally challenged friends.
Earlier in the movie, Healy spies on Mary and her friends while they eat lunch at Red Fish Grill, 9610 Old Cutler Road. But Hurricane Irma laid waste to the seafood restaurant, which opened in 1996.
The park is also the location where Ted gets hooked by a fisherman.
The museum where Mary surprises Healy with a visit to the architecture exhibit is the HistoryMiami Museum at what is now called the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, 101 W. Flagler St. Then-known as the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the 70,000-square-foot museum is the official repository for all archeological finds in Miami-Dade County.
Mary's office is a high-rise building at 701 Brickell Ave. in Miami. This is where Ted reunites with Mary after 13 years. The location was also featured in the 1981 movie "Absence of Malice."
Churchill's Pub was transformed into a scummy strip club for a scene shortly after Mary's friend, Tucker (Lee Evans), reveals himself to be Norm, a pizza man who is also hot for Mary. The location has a bit part and is non-descript in the movie, but the owner of the British pub at 5501 NE Second Ave. confessed it was his place that masqueraded as a Miami nudie bar.
The Cardozo Hotel, 1300 Ocean Drive, in the heart of South Beach is where Ted stays during his time in South Florida.
It is here where Ted -- well, um -- pleasures himself and loses his deposit, which Mary later mistakes for hair gel.
Built in 1939, the hotel is currently closed for restoration under new owners Emilio and Gloria Estefan.
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