The 1990 romantic comedy Green Card is an example of a movie that is kinda cute, kinda funny, and would be kinda forgettable if it hadn’t been for the apartment that Andie MacDowell’s character Brontë lives in.
Until I watched again recently, I couldn’t recall much about it other than the basic plot–woman marries Frenchman so he can stay in the U.S. and they (spoiler alert!) fall in love. But who could forget her New York City apartment with the lovely greenhouse and rooftop garden?
In this scene Brontë is leaving her apartment building and we get a glimpse of the outside of it:
It’s known as the Aylsmere in Manhattan and was built in the 1890s (the architect was Henry Andersen). Here’s a photo of the front entrance to the building today:
You can see more photos of the Aylsmere at Landmark West.
According to On the Set, it’s “a grand 56 unit pre-war apartment building with an onyx lobby and marble floors throughout, located in the heart of the Upper West Side” (60 West 76th Street and Columbus Avenue in Manhattan).
It sounds like the movie was actually filmed inside this building, too. On the Set reports, “The apartment building was used for interior and exterior use.”
According to IMDb.com, the entire movie was shot in New York City, and there’s no mention of a separate soundstage being used. (If anyone knows differently, fill us in!)
Gérard Depardieu played the Frenchman Brontë marries so he can get his green card and she can get her greenhouse. She’s a horticulturist who has found the perfect apartment in Manhattan with its own conservatory.
You’d think money would be the problem in securing a place like that–especially for someone who works with plants for a living–but no. The building is for “marrieds only,” so she needs to find a husband, and quick. (Don’t you hate when that happens?)
This is how the apartment looks when Brontë first gets a look at it:
Brontë checks out the greenhouse on her first visit and sees all the work that needs to be done out there. Love this old fountain:
Looking from the conservatory into the living room:
Georges sits at the writing desk in the living room, writing “love letters” that will hopefully fool the INS into thinking they’ve had a real relationship that spans morethan a few days together:
Looking into the kitchen:
It’s tiny but so charming!
As if the greenhouse isn’t enough, there’s a door in the kitchen that opens up to a rooftop garden:
Green Card Set Decorator John Anderson also worked on the “Gilmore Girls,” and you can see some of the same soft, feminine, and vintage look to them:
Love that show. I own all the seasons on DVD and just started watching them all over again from the beginning.
As nice as the greenhouse is, I think I’d spend all my time right here on the roof. Gorgeous.
There aren’t as many great apartments in movies as there are houses, that’s for sure. I think I’ve only featured a few of them, like Jennifer Aniston’s in The Break-Up, the girly retro apartment from Down with Love, and Doris Day’s in Pillow Talk. Got a favorite?