Evaluating the Accuracy of 21
Last night, several of your friends at Boston Daily and Boston magazine headed to the AMC Loews on the Common to catch the Boston premiere of 21, the movie based on Ben Mezrich’s book Bringing Down the House. (Read all about Mezrich in this month’s issue of Boston magazine.)
The film’s producers lauded local politicians for their tax breaks that allowed the movie to be shot on location in Boston and Cambridge. While we’re always happy to see our city representing on the big screen, we’re still cynical New Englanders. So we kept our eyes open for anything that wasn’t quite right.
On the whole, the movie does a good job getting the ambiance of Boston, but some things didn’t add up. Every time the characters are on the Red Line, the display says the train is going express to Davis. (It seems that if a train was going express, it would head for Alewife.)
Kate Bosworth’s character gets off the train in Quincy Center, but when we see her apartment later in the movie, we catch a glimpse of what looks like the Tobin Bridge. We got the church giggles when the characters magically transported from the MIT campus to continue their conversation on the Christian Science Center plaza.
With that said, the filmmakers got a lot right. The main characters drink at the People’s Republik, which is close to MIT. The bulky sweaters and hoodies the students wear in Boston are replaced by white suits and glamorous dresses while in Las Vegas, and the contrast is even used for a visual gag.
The Red Line cars look a little too clean, but feature the Guaranteed Swahili ads we know and love. And we’re sure our friend Christine Elise McCarthy would approve of the fact that no blue-collar Bostonians are represented as ugly.
All in all, well done, 21.