Welcome to Movie Monday, when I feature the houses from our favorite films. Since it’s Valentine’s month, I thought it would be fun to take a look at Tom Hanks’ famous houseboat from Sleepless in Seattle.
Okay, so the houses aren’t really boats because they never leave the dock, and they’re technically called floating homes, but that just doesn’t have the same ring as a houseboat, does it? The one his character Sam lived in is on Lake Union near the University of Washington and Pike Place Market.
Houseboats started cropping up in the area in the 1890s, when sailors, fishermen and dock workers in Elliott Bay built homes on rafts. According to an article in The Washington Post:
During the Depression, low-income laborers took advantage of the geography and built or moved into tax-free houseboats. The houseboat population peaked in the 1930s, at about 2,000, but has since dropped to around 500. Still, Seattle boasts one of the country’s largest houseboat communities.
Annie (Meg Ryan) steps up to his front door, hoping to introduce herself. Too bad he wasn’t home:
Sam (Tom Hanks) comes home from work:
The movie was so dark that it was difficult to get good photos from it. Most of it was filmed on rainy days or at night. I lightened these photos as much as I could, but that made them look a little blurry.
Sam is a widow who has just moved to Seattle with his 8-year old son Jonah. The name Jonah seemed so unusual in 1993, didn’t it? Now it’s much more common.
His home office:
Sam is an architect, which is one of the most popular “movie careers” for men in romantic movies. I guess women like to fantasize about having a man who could design their dream home for them!
Sam in the kitchen with the woman he has started dating with the annoying laugh. Jonah doesn’t like her (or her laugh) and wants his dad to meet Annie instead:
Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks’ real-life wife, played his friend Suzy in the movie. Even though this scene where he and Suzy’s husband Greg (Victor Garber) pretend to cry over the plot in The Dirty Dozen was totally improvised, it proved to be one of the most memorable:
The 2,075-square foot houseboat used for the film was put on the market in 2008 for $2.5 million. It was built in 1978 with four bedrooms and two baths and is the largest floating home on Lake Union. It boasts views of not only the water, but downtown Seattle. Here are some photos from the listing:
It has the same kind of beams in the main living areas as in the movie, but otherwise bears little resemblance to the movie interiors.
You can see more photos and get more information about the house here.
Annie’s House in Baltimore:
I was wowed by Annie’s house in Baltimore with all the pink walls and vintage decor when I saw the movie for the first time.
Rosie O’Donnell played her wise-cracking best friend.
Love the vintage fridge:
The role of Annie Reed was originally offered to Julia Roberts, who turned it down. Second choice? Kim Basinger, who said the premise was “too ridiculous.” I also read that they tried to get Jodie Foster for it. Seriously? It’s hard to imagine anyone but Meg Ryan in the role.
In the end, Annie and Sam finally meet at the top of the Empire State Building in New York (just like Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr were supposed to do before tragedy struck in An Affair to Remember.) Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks actually spend less than 2 minutes onscreen together in the movie.
Do you have a favorite Nora Ephron movie?