Your local viewing choices range from a critically acclaimed drama to a joy-filled holiday movie.
By Kevin Slane | Boston.com | December 3, 2020
This year has been a strange one for movies, with nearly every major theatrical release postponed or shifted to an on-demand release or streaming service due to the coronavirus pandemic.
While we have missed out on big-budget fare like “Black Widow” and the Boston-filmed “Free Guy,” studios have largely begun to push out previously delayed fare, making December a month to remember for new movie releases.
As luck would have it, there are three new movies all being released on Dec. 4 that were filmed in Massachusetts. Aside from the local backdrop, each of the three films is a markedly different viewing experience, so whether you’re in the mood for a joyful holiday flick (“Godmothered”), a critically acclaimed drama (“Sound of Metal”), or an ensemble-based romantic comedy (“Love, Weddings & Other Disasters”), the Bay State has you covered this weekend.
Here’s everything you need to know about this weekend’s new releases, including where they were filmed and how to watch them at home.
On Friday, Disney+ will release “Godmothered,” a holiday movie starring Isla Fisher (“Wedding Crashers”) and Jillian Bell (“22 Jump Street”).
Set during the Christmas season, “Godmothered” follows a “young, inexperienced fairy godmother-in-training” (Bell), who is determined to prove that the world still needs her magic even though the fairy godmother profession is facing extinction. After finding a misplaced letter from a 10-year-old girl named Mackenzie, Eleanor heads to Earth to assist her, only to find that Mackenzie (Fisher) is now a 40-year-old single mom working at a TV news station in Boston. Mackenzie has given up hope of finding a “happily ever after” after losing her husband several years earlier, but Eleanor is determined to turn around her fortunes.
Filming locations: “Godmothered” began production in Boston and other surrounding towns in January, laying down fake snow and holiday decorations wherever it went, including Beacon Hill, Government Center, and the North End. The movie wrapped filming in March, shortly before the pandemic shut down all productions in the state. The movie also filmed in Andover, Cambridge, Chelsea, Dedham, Ipswich, Lowell, Malden, Marblehead, North Andover, Westford, and Weymouth.
How to watch: “Godmothered” will be streaming on Disney+ starting Dec. 4.
It’s been a little while since we last heard about “Sound of Metal.” The drama about a metal drummer (Riz Ahmed, “Venom”) whose world begins to unravel as he starts to lose his hearing was a hit at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival, but its release was delayed by the pandemic. The movie arrives on Amazon Prime this Friday and is a must-watch both for its incredible sound design, which portrays the process of going deaf, and for Ahmed’s performance as a man whose response to his hearing loss is to seek short-sighted relief in substances and ear-shattering music.
Filming locations: “Sound of Metal” was filmed in Massachusetts in August and September 2018. Primarily shot in Ipswich, crews also filmed scenes in Boston, Cambridge, Danvers, Framingham, Lawrence, Malden, Rowley, and Topsfield.
How to watch: “Sound of Metal” will be streaming on Amazon Prime Video starting Dec. 4.
“Love, Weddings & Other Disasters”
What if “Love Actually” had been filmed in Boston? That’s the general conceit of “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters,” a romantic comedy that follows multiple star-crossed lovers as they attempt to navigate romantic entanglements. The intersecting plot lines include a wedding planner (Jeremy Irons, “The Lion King”) who falls for a blind woman (Diane Keaton, “Annie Hall”) and a duck boat tour guide (Andrew Bachelor, “When We First Met”) looking for the passenger who got away (local newcomer Rachel Wirtz).
Fair warning: Reviews of “LWOD” are universally awful so far. The Globe‘s Ty Burr called the movie a “dreary, low-rent ‘Love Actually’ imitation” in his one-star review, while others called it “worse than unwatchable” and a “witless, charmless, barely-written, indifferently acted, hideously shot, and generally odious waste of 90 minutes.” Even if you’re a romantic comedy fan and a Boston film canon completist, proceed with caution.
Filming locations: “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” made its presence known in September 2019 when Keaton and Irons filmed a romantic picnic scene in Boston Public Garden. Crews also filmed in Beverly, Brockton, Brookline, Cambridge, Milton, Raynham, and Revere before wrapping in October.
How to watch: “Love, Weddings & Other Disasters” will be available to rent on-demand on Dec. 4.