It’s nice to get away from the painful realities of life by going to the movies. While entertainment like HBO’s Girls often tries to make its depiction of life as real as possible, there’s something to be said for the decadence and opulence that films can bring to the table. And rarely is that more clear than in the fanciful depiction of apartments and condos in the movies. Even entry-level characters, like Big’s Josh Baskin, get to rule the roost in giant lofts with hardwood floors and staggering views.
So let’s forget about who can afford what and get after a few of the nicest apartments in movie history. Call your real estate agent and berate him or her for a while after perusing this list.
(From about 2:15-2:28)
The premise of this Korean revenge flick is so sinister that it’s only fitting that the villain has a penthouse to match. It’s strikingly beautiful, but also so bizarrely over-the-top that it’s hard to imagine anyone ever feeling comfortable living there. Of course, we quickly learn that the antagonist is probably incapable of feeling comfort at any stage of his life, so the fountain in the middle of the giant space probably won’t help that much. However, the opening and collapsing closet might be the coolest design feature in any of the apartments listed here, so maybe he took some solace in that. You know, just a little, maybe.
The American Gardens building isn’t real, which is a shame, because Patrick Bateman’s white-on-white-on-white apartment has a timeless appeal that isn’t just for serial killers anymore. Rather, it transcends its painfully 80’s setting to look like a bitchin’ bachelor pad in any era. Just use a coaster when setting your sorbet on the table, otherwise you might get a nailgun to the back of the head, and that could seriously drive down property values.
Say what you will about Bateman, but the man had taste that most of us would, ironically, kill for.
Michael Douglas is at his best when playing a rich asshole, and in A Perfect Murder, he’s got the apartment to match. If you can even call it an apartment. It’s more like a mansion stack on top of another building. He’s got a huge terrace overlooking Central Park, a giant closet to house his awesome clothes, and a really cool bathtub his wife can bathe in before she gets murdered.
It’s the ultimate “eff you, I’m rich” house, and while it’s not my taste, I do enjoy letting people know that I’m better than them, so that makes this apartment right up my alley, aesthetics aside.
Josh Baskin made like $350 bucks a week working for a toy company in 1988. I don’t know what the Manhattan real estate market was like in the late 80’s, but I’m assuming that it wasn’t enough for a man-child to rent a 3,000 sf loft and still have enough left over to get bunk beds, pinball machines, and his very own vending machine. Also, he was 12 years old! His credit history must have been shit! How does he get a loft like that?
Anyway, this list is about the dwellings, and not the specious logic that allows the fimlm characters to move into them. The loft is a kid’s dream house, essentially one big playroom with some bunk beds in the middle. I don’t know if I would take it over some of the other entries on this list, but it would be pretty close. If I was 12, it would be a no-brainer.
Another “old money” townhouse here which ostensibly belongs to the parents of Ryan Phillipe and Sarah Michelle Gellar’s parents, though they’re nowhere to be found. Every room offers a perfect locale for brooding and staring out a window while issuing an ultimatum to your sibling, which is certainly something I look for in an apartment.
It is vast and decorated in a very impersonal Victorian fashion, which completely matches the characteristics of most every character in the film. Again, as I’m not an “old money” type of guy (as evidenced by the fact that I write about movies on the Internet), but the intimidation factor of a place like this supercedes any reservations I have about its design.
The “apartment” owned by Bill Hartford’s patient, Victor Ziegler (played by Sydney Pollack) is about as fantastic as the premise of the film itself. It offers a seemingly endless expanse, all in soft light, and a staircase not matched in many five-star hotels. We never learn what Victor Ziegler does, but we can assume he’s pretty damn good at it to own a place like that. Moreover, the details in the apartment (even though it feels weird calling it that), are quintessentially New York, right down to the checkered flooring in the bathroom.
Kubrick may be incredibly divisive as an auteur, but we can all agree the man knows tasteful interior design.