One of the movie houses that I’ve gotten the most requests to see photos of is Cameron Diaz’s beach house from Head Above Water.
After a reader told me she loved it even more than the one from SGG, I broke down and bought the DVD last week so I could see it for myself.
The minute this waterfront cottage in Maine appeared onscreen, I knew it was worth the $17 I spent on it.
Take a look!
The Beach House in Maine from “Head Above Water”
The movie was filmed entirely in Phippsburg, Maine.
They did an amazing job making it look like it had been sitting there for years, but the beach house was actually built for the movie on a private island near Lincoln Beach.
Cameron Diaz plays Nathalie, whose family owns the cottage.
Craig Sheffer plays her childhood friend Lance who lives in the cottage next door.
Harvey Keitel plays a judge and Nathalie’s husband. They make an odd couple, for sure.
The movie was filmed in 1996, but the interiors don’t look as dated as you’d expect.
Head Above Water was a remake of a Norwegian film.
I guess I should mention for those of you who haven’t seen the movie that I might mention some things you’d consider “spoilers” in this post, but I’ll try not to give anything major away!
We only get glimpses of the bedroom and bath…
When George and Lance leave on an overnight fishing trip, Nathalie gets a visit from former boyfriend Kent (Billy Zane), who arrives on a stolen boat bearing flowers.
Kent tells Nathalie that he sent her a postcard telling her he was coming, but she never got it. It makes her wonder if her husband intercepted it.
I kept hoping they’d let us see the screened porch behind the kitchen, but no dice.
There’s a painted brick fireplace in the center of the cottage:
Jeffrey Beecroft provided the production design for the bungalow and surrounding structures.
The Storage Shed:
One of George’s projects was to build a gazebo:
The cottage next door where Lance lives:
Everything I read said that these beach houses were torn down after filming (just like they did with that charming stone cottage in The Holiday, another movie Diaz was in).
However, a couple of readers tell me they weren’t torn down — just moved to another location.
Barb says: “If you check Small Point Maine cottage rentals you can see that there are vacancies sometimes in Windsong and Driftwood. Sometimes we still call them the ‘movie houses.'”
Sure enough, you can see photos of them on their Facebook page!
Visit my Houses Onscreen page to see other movies I’ve featured, listed A-Z.
Imre Zat says
Dear Julia! I love your Movie-Monday posts!!! I can’t log on your page, but I can tell you some suggestion here: Bringing Down the House (2003), Julie&Julia(2009), Blue Jasmine(2013). Good luck and enjoy posting! I really miss your posts! Imre
the tiny homestead says
It’s so timeless and still fresh looking. Really impressive that this is from 1996! I love the cottage so much!
I’ve never heard of that movie, the cottage is gorgeous! It doesn’t sound like a comedy to me, more like a suspense movie. And am I the only one who is befuddled by the dock? Why is it so high in the air, when the beach is almost level with the house??? Anyway … 😉
Good point about the dock. Maybe they wanted it higher for some of the chase scenes? Make it seem more dramatic or something. Ha.
The tide range is pretty high in Maine, but it does look excessive. If the tide came up that high it looks like the house would be underwater.
Lisa Kohut says
Cameron Diaz tends to make these “black” comedies. Another one was Very Bad Things. More silly than funny. Great post, Julia 🙂
Alie B says
Sounds like kind of an odd movie, but you’re right; the cottage is incredible! It’s even nicer than Emily’s cottage in Revenge, if that’s possible! 🙂
I really LOVE that house! Gorgeous. I wonder if it’s the same production designer as in Message in a Bottle,because it looks very similar to the house in that movie. It also reminds me of a house on Long Island in a book called Family Houses by the Sea (a very, very lovely interiors book).
As for movie houses, I think my favorite of all time (if I’m remembering it correctly) is in a movie called The Love Letter (1999) starring Kate Capshaw and Ellen DeGeneres. It was filmed in Gloucester and Rockport, MA. Kate Capshaw also runs a very adorable bookstore in the movie (of course she does). It’s not great but the sets are incredible.
[email protected] says
Generally I tend to like movies with Diaz in it, but I have never heard of this one. Great house though, too bad it was a set built and torn down. The view is the best part I would say.
Michael Williams says
I really like that house and wish they had not torn it down after the movie. I am shocked that the design looks so up to date. Great post thanks.
cecile delouvrier says
Love all that kind of beach cottages! We don’t have such places in France simply because it’s forbidden to build on beaches the way it’s done in US; maybe it’s better this way at some point.
Good catch for that movie even me, I never heard of it (and I know a lot of unknown movies), but the house is just an eye catcher!
thanx for sharing
I’m glad you’re back to such posts, you ‘ve been a lot on bathroom remodelling lately!
Esther George says
Hi Julia hope you are doing well, I must confess I had never heard of this movie but must say the beach house is beautiful. There is another 90’s movie with a nice beach house stars Michelle Pfeiffer – To Gillian on her 37th Birthday complicated movie loved the house. Thank you for sharing. Regards Esther from Sydney. PS in case I don’t get a chance just wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and I know you will have a wonderful time with your family.
Thanks, Esther! 🙂
Erin Napier says
Yes yes yes yes! Finally! My favorite movie house EVER.
What a lovely cottage. It kind of reminds me of the Revenge cottage. Both are gorgeous.
Never heard of this movie. Definitely sounds strange. But the sets are terrific. The house captures the vibe of a rustic Maine beach cottage that’s been in the family for a couple of generations. I love the way it’s decorated. Timeless. Who would think this was done in 1996? Are those chenille bedspreads covering the armchairs? Love the beadboard, old doors, French doors, the weathered post and beams, and all the windows. Wish I could see more of the kitchen, but it looks great. Love what must be old nautical maps and sailing trophies. Perfect! I’m sure it couldn’t remain in that location, but it sure seems a shame to tear the whole thing down.
I’d never heard of it either until everyone started clamoring to see photos of it. It’s hard to find — Netflix doesn’t have it and neither did any of my local libraries, etc. I think it may have even gone straight to video. Does anyone remember seeing it at a movie theater?
Too funny! I don’t watch many movies but caught the last 45 minutes of that one once when I was sick in bed. I didnt know the name of it but as I read your summary of the storylin, it came flooding back to me! I loved the cottage too but never would haves pegged it as a comedy. It was so bizarre! I didn’t think Keitel was her hubby bc/ I missed most of the story. Too funny!!
I forgot all about this movie! Great house and great post!! If I may, I have three movie house suggestions/requests:
1. Meet the Parents
2. That’s My Boy
3. The Oranges
I love all your movie posts, I miss them, I would like one every week. This house is gorgeous, when I saw the movie a couple of years ago, I only paid attention to the set and can’t remember anything of the script.
Thanks Julia, and when you can look for the New York appartmente in Blue Yasmine. I think that it is not a set, looks like a real residence.
i’ve been in both the cottage and the house after both were moved to nearby locations.both are amazing and i wish i owned them =).. also the picture with the back view of the cottage(above the shed picture) if you look in the top right on that hill, that’s where the Pov of the last picture would of been taken from.