On Location In Astoria

The Accidental Husband

A view from the Greek Stathakion Center of Hell Gate Bridge. 
Photo Jason D. Antos A view from the Greek Stathakion Center of Hell Gate Bridge. Photo Jason D. Antos This month’s On Location in Astoria selection is 2008’s The Accidental Husband, starring Uma Thurman, Colin Firth and Jeffrey Dean Morgan.

Watch out for scenes that were shot on 30th Avenue or on 33rd Street.

The film centers on Emma, played by Thurman, who is the host of a dating talk show. She is engaged to Richard (Firth), a workaholic lawyer. Morgan comes into the mix as Patrick, a firefighter whose girlfriend broke up with him after calling in to Emma’s show and receiving her advice to do so.

It has everything a romantic comedy needs – a person looking for love after losing someone who wasn’t the one, and someone else who at first seems like the antagonist but ends up retracing their steps and becomes the one the protagonist is looking for.

But back to the main reason why we’re here – Astoria. Patrick lives on the second floor above the Samosa Palace Restaurant, on 33rd Street and 23rd Avenue. Though the restaurant is now a laundromat, the rest remains the same. Patrick enters through the restaurant in order to get to his apartment, which shows great views of the Hell Gate Bridge arches. The Allstate façade is the same now as it was then, and in the background, one sees the N train departing at multiple times during the film.

Just before eight and a half minutes into the movie, a barely unrecognizable 27th Street and 23rd Avenue appear in the film. A conversation in front of a fruit and vegetable store at 27-02 23rd Avenue took place in front of what is now...you guessed it, a laundromat. At the very least, you should watch it just to see how much Astoria has changed in less than seven years. The houses and the original deli on the corner have remained since filming, but otherwise, this block has completely changed. It seems like the nail salon and fruit store on the block have been demolished to make way for the laundry place and law office you would find there now.

There is a fake sign for a 23rd Avenue station with the train lines being N and W. The W, of course, was replaced in mid-2010 by the Q.

Back to the film: Patrick is a firefighter and there just happens to be a fire station a block away from where he lives on 23rd Avenue, Engine 312 at 22-63 35th St. The film production must have had a few extra brass 9s laying around, since they changed the name to Engine 3129 and added 99 after H & L (Hook & Ladder).

Another location is the Greek Stathakion Center on 29th Street and 23rd Avenue, but in the film the Greek Center was changed to a Hindu Bhavan Temple, which can be seen through the Hell Gate arches just before 43 minutes into the movie. This, in addition to a few overhead shots of 31st Street and 23rd Avenue are just some of the other shots you can catch in the movie. So if you’re stuck inside because your car broke its tie-rod or if you just plain want to see a rom-com during your love hangover from last month, watch The Accidental Husband and be on the lookout for scenes shot around the neighborhood of Astoria.

—Catherina Gioino

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2015-03-01 digital edition