Coming from the car business, we all had our top 10 automotive biz movies (not racing). Mine was Used Cars with Kurt Russell. Fargo was a close 2nd. The problem with those movies is, they make the industry and its people out to be real bad. A bad car dealer makes for better scripts…who wants to see a movie about the car dealer in Flemington, NJ who does a ton of charitable work, is a pillar of the community, and also owns a minor league baseball team. Not me. I know that dealer, but give me a gruesome killing in the wood chipper any day of the week. Real Estate and movies, I have found, are the same way. In fact, I saw a script for an upcoming film where the producers wanted us to sponsor through product placement. We said no because the script made the sales agent look really bad, but overall, it was a really funny script.
So, without implying that the movies emulate the real world of real estate, here’s my top ten. Now there are a ton of these lists out there, and I admit I may have viewed a few other lists to compare notes and possibly steal one or two movies I didn’t have on my original list…
10) Superman 1. California will fall into the Pacific and make ocean front property of Nevada homes owned by Lex Luther. Brilliant real estate investing. Just didn’t work.
9) Pacific Heights. New owners take a hammer to the Coldwell Banker Real Estate sign outside of the house they just bought, a ceremonial statement of home ownership pride. Please treat our signs better.
8) American Beauty. Ok, Annette Benning is pretty obsessive-compulsive, but she did a nice job getting that property ready for the Open House.
7) Disney’s Haunted Mansion. A very dedicated real estate agent going the extra mile to view a new house on the market. Agents really don’t get enough credit.
6) Poltergeist. Hey, this movie offered life lessons. First, never be the first person to move into a new development. Also, instead of making sure you don’t break a utility line when digging the pool, watch out for the ancient burial ground.
5) Caddyshack. Rodney wants to buy the club to build and sell condos. Best Ted Knight movie EVER. And, Danny grew up to marry Bonnie Raitt.
4) Up. Guy won’t sell his house to a developer. They try and evict him so he takes the House and moves to South America. Only Animated movie on the list.
3) Avatar. Government using Imminent Domain to take over land and re-purpose it for commercial purposes. Residents offered pennies on the dollar. Only 3D Real Estate movie on the list.
2) Glengarry, Glen Ross. “Coffee’s for closers”…’nuf said.
1) Far and Away. A free for all for property. All you need is a flag and a fast horse to stake out your claim. That is the single best reason someone should use an experienced agent when involved in a real estate transaction. Otherwise, it is chaos. Manhattan Island was another one like that. The Lenni Lenape were not represented by an agent.
So that’s my list. Tell me if I missed any of your favorites!