Your guide to all Toronto places in The F Word movie
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan may be the rightful stars of The F Word, but the refreshingly-good romantic comedy (opening August 22) has another star we know all too well: Toronto.
Directed by Michael Dowse (Fubar, Goon), and written by hometown screenwriter Elan Mastai, The F Word is not only shot in Toronto, but proudly set here. And I mean proud. The movie's eagerness to show off our city every chance it gets is practically infectious. As the movie's boy and girl - Wallace (Radcliffe) and Chantry (Kazan) - go on their romantic "Will they get together?" journey, scene after scene offers up instantly recognizable Toronto locales that remind us why we love our city.
In fact, there's so much Toronto in The F Word it can be hard sometimes to keep up with what scenes happen where. That's why I've put together a list of many of the Toronto coffee shops, restaurants, beaches, parks, and neighborhoods that pop in the film, so you can keep an eye out for them when you see the movie. Don't worry. No spoilers.
The George Street Diner
The popular greasy spoon - home to George Brown students and Bay Streeters alike - features prominently in The F Word. Not one, but two crucial scenes show off the bright red, Tetris-block-shaped 1950s style diner's intimate booths. It's in those booths that the two would-be lovebirds sing the praises of all things deep fried and Elvis, bantering, flirting, and fighting.
Rooster Coffee House
The Broadview location of this popular mini-chain sees its east-to-west skyline facing patio and wonderful coffee used in a way most locals would probably instantly recognize: as a launching point for some to-go-coffee catching up (here via Wallace and Chantry). And, as is often the case, that results in a walk along...
The summer home of many a soccer game or morning Tai Chi session, and winter home of many a high-speed sled, Riverdale Park sees Wallace and Chantry (Rooster Coffee in hand) stroll along Broadview Avenue with the wonderful view of the city skyline behind them.
The Purple Purl (Leslieville)
The charming Leslieville store, stocked wall-to-wall (literally) with yarn is shown off in The F Word in its most natural state: full of people (Chantry and her girlfriends in this case), sitting in a circle knitting and crocheting together, filling the space with the same relaxed chatter and communal atmosphere the store has in real life.
The beloved ping pong bar that's captured the heart of many an amateur player has its purple neon-kissed basement atmosphere visited by Wallace and Chantry on a pub crawl night out. And as is the case for many of us, the late night pleasures of the drink-and-play bar inevitably leads to someone being neither humble, nor modest, in victory.
The little cousin of Spadina's Chinatown, this Broadview and Gerrard spot has its hustle and bustle visited by Chantry and her boyfriend, Ben (Rafe Spall), as they shop its bulk food offerings, Chinese baked goods, and (as Chantry puts it) its sampling of "weird animal parts."
The Royal Cinema
The glorious, nearly seventy-five-year-old Art Moderne theatre gets a very loving treatment from The F Word. The Grand Dame's marquee lights are set ablaze in all their nighttime glory, setting the stage for romance to bloom - not just outside, where Wallace and Chantry bump into each other, but inside as well. The movie they're there to see is The Princess Bride, a perfect representation of the kind of revenue programming we expect and love from The Royal.
Yonge & Dundas Square
Shopping needs aside, the Toronto hub may be one a lot of us tend to avoid as much as possible thanks to its overpriced restaurants and path-blocking tourists. But The F Word recasts the intersection as something quintessentially Torontonian. It's mega-watt lights, massive screens, and late-night crowds become a love-letter to the bustling life of hot summer T.O. nights.
Scarborough Bluffs & Bluffers Park
Bluffers Park sees a lot of Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and friends: a late night campfire hangout beneath the escarpment leads to a spontaneous skinny dipping session. Most of us might not be able to relate to the skinny dip (though if you can, kudos!), but many will definitely recognize the great, quiet, laid-back nighttime vibe of this natural GTA oasis.
Kew Gardens and Boardwalk
One imagines that the Kew Beach Lawn Bowling Club will have mixed feelings about its treatment in The F Word. On one hand, its meticulously landscaped grass, skilled bowlers, and lakeside view all get shown off here. On the other hand, the bowlers in the movie find themselves drunkenly heckled by Wallace's friend Alan (Girls' Adam Driver). At least Kew Gardens' boardwalk gets its due with a sunset walk Wallace and Chantry take during a quintessential "They're falling in love!" romantic comedy montage.
Jimmie Simpson Community Centre
Sporting events as drunken entertainment are a bit of a trend in The F Word. Jimmie Simpson may have one of the best indoor pools in the city, but in the film we see it in all its children's karate tournament glory. That tournament then becomes a beer-iffic social hangout for the movie's characters because ... well, no real discernible reason. But hey, it's still nonetheless a nice nod to the (usually) family friendly East End community centre.
The busy summertime retreat sees itself visited by a sunbathing Chantry and her sister (Megan Park) who enjoy it - as many locals do - as a lazy weekend destination, dozing dozing in beach recliners, gabbing about all the latest happenings in their lives, and generally goofing off.
Most known for its packed large venues like Cabana Pool Bar and Sound Academy, The F Word somehow manages to redress the locale as an intimate, small, social event venue that looks like it holds no more than forty people. In the movie it becomes a gorgeous nighttime sport, lit by both the glow of the skyline and garden lights, and perfectly imaginable as a wedding spot.