Landscape Architects…in the Movies

Architecture–it’s a favorite profession of film protagonists. From Charles Bronson in Death Wish (and the sequels), Richard Gere in Intersection, Woody Harrelson in Indecent Proposal, Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle, & Michael Keaton in White Noise (to name a few), the character of the architect shows up again and again in movies. To Hollywood, the noble profession of architecture is taken up by altruistic, successful, smart people who just want to love their significant others (Wouldn’t Vitruvius & Thomas Jefferson be proud!). Architects embody the Hollywood tragic hero, combating the evils of the world without consideration of personal costs.

Last night, I saw my first movie featuring a landscape architect. “Just like Heaven,” is a boringly sweet romantic comedy. However, the movie rental was made worthwhile when Mark Ruffalo’s character revealed that he was, in fact, a landscape architect. From this first glimpse of the landscape architect in Hollywood, I would say they are treated much like the architect. Sweet, well-meaning souls haunted by the tragedy of love lost…except they build gardens with lots & lots of flowers, and the usual blueprint prop is absent.

All-in-all, I’m excited about the emergence of the LA in film! I can’t wait to see a Death Wish 6 featuring a vigilante landscape architect. Someone battling evil, injustice, & hate with flowers & trees…the things we landscape architects do every day.

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