Where was The Sweetest Thing filmed?
San Francisco, California
About The Sweetest Thing
The year is 2002, the golden age of rom-coms, and The Sweetest Thing is released. Starring early 00’s royalty, the trinity of Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair, the movie is all about being single in the city and how far you’ll go to find the seemingly perfect guy. A classic rom-com trope.
Set predominantly in San Francisco, the film centers on Christina (Cameron Diaz), an interior designer who seems to have dated a lot of guys who haven’t been the one for her. Together with her friends Courtney (Christina Applegate), who is an enabling divorce lawyer, and Jane (Selma Blair), who jumps from one intense boyfriend to the next, chaos surely does ensue.
After Jane breaks up with yet another guy, Christina and Courtney take her out to cheer her up and find her someone else. Christina tries to set her up with a guy called Peter (Thomas Jane) who immediately takes offense at the practice of set ups. Christina later vents about him in the bathroom, leading Courtney to believe that she’s in love with him. Because of course.
Courtney insists she goes back out and talks to him and he explains he and his brother are in the city for one last blow out before he gets married. After Christina refuses to go to the after party, she goes home alone, regretting her decision.
The pair keep bumping into each other, so once Peter and his brother Roger (Jason Bateman) leave town to return to their small town of Somerset, Courtney suggests that she and Christina drive up there and go to Roger’s wedding to see Peter. On the road, there are a lot of funny and interesting side adventures before arriving in Somerset.
When they get to the church, it’s not Roger standing at the altar, it’s Peter. Embarrassed and heartbroken the girls leave, but Peter and his fiance realize this isn’t what either of them wanted. Will love prevail? Will it all work out? Watch The Sweetest Thing and find out.
The Sweetest Thing Locations
To bring The Sweetest Thing locations to life, the production team opted to use actual San Francisco as much as they could. Using the iconic hills, sweeping shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, and plenty of scenes in and around the city’s famous Chinatown area, The Sweetest Thing production team managed to really sell the vibe of three successful, largely single, women living and doing their best in San Francisco.
For the scenes in Somerset or heading out that way, the team chose to film in the town of Richmond, as well as drive around Marin County for the road trip film shoots.
Outside of Northern California, there were a few scenes shot in and around Los Angeles, as this is where the studio was based. A few of the pit stops on the road were in the LA area, as were the driving range scenes, supposedly with Roger and Peter in Somerset.
So, if you’re heading to California and you’re a fan of The Sweetest Thing, there are plenty of places that you’ll recognize. You can even make like Christina and Courtney and make a road trip out of your Californian vacation. Where will you be going? Let’s find out!
Lunch scene in The Sweetest Thing
Pier 7 on the Embarcadero
What’s a film about female friendship without a lunch scene where they lament about the lack of love in their life? Well, The Sweetest Thing fills this movie trope well with all three of the women talking about how it didn’t work out with various guys.
Unlike other rom-com leads, Christina seems genuinely fine with her latest breakup, which makes a change from Jane’s various breakups.
“So I took a chance on a guy and it didn’t work out, so what. I’m not upset about it. I’m accepting where I am right now.” How very well adjusted of you, Christina.
The open air restaurant where the three girls have lunch was actually a set that was built on Pier 7 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. Located a couple of blocks away from the Ferry Building, this is a super accessible spot in the heart of the city.
The Berkeley-San Fran ferry comes in just a couple of piers away, the Broadway and Embarcadero bus and tram stop is just a few steps away and there are parking lots along the waterfront. So whatever mode of transportation you prefer, it’s relatively simple to access this Sweetest Thing filming location.
The club scene in The Sweetest Thing
Los Angeles Center Studios
When the girls go to the club to cheer Jane up, they meet Peter and his brother Roger. After they didn’t get off to the greatest initial start, now Peter and Christina are really hitting it off and things are going well.
Peter and Roger decide to invite the girls to an after party, but Christina isn’t so sure. Besides, she didn’t even really want to go out tonight! While trying to convince Christina to change her mind, Roger starts marketing his brother:
“You’re never gonna find anyone better than my brother here. He is the greatest.” It’s a drunken advertisement, but he gives it a good go nonetheless.
The exterior of the club is The Blue Bar, located at 501 Broadway and Kearny in San Francisco. The interior scenes at the club were shot at Los Angeles Center Studios in Downtown Los Angeles.
Quite a few interior scenes were shot here, so it’s used throughout the film and is still a working 20-acre studio campus. As it is a working studio, you might not be able to get on the lot. That being said, they do also rent out office space, so if you’re looking for a place to work in Downtown LA, this might be the spot for you.
Located in the City West region, you can easily reach Los Angeles Center Studios by bus, with the number 16 and Pico Union/Echo Park line both stopping right outside the main building.
The biker and the lip gloss scene in The Sweetest Thing
Lucas Valley Road
When Courtney and Christina decide to hit the road and go to Somerset for the wedding, there are quite a few setbacks along the way. Glory holes, getting soaked through, and in this scene, a biker misunderstands what’s happening with the two women in the car.
Courtney: “Oh I dropped the thingy to my lipgloss”
Christina: “I’ll get it”
The girls are both in varying stages of undress, having gotten soaked and needing to get changed for the wedding. Christina leans over down the side of Courtney’s leg to pick up the lipgloss, which to the biker who came up alongside the car, is in for a surprise.
The road trip scenes were predominantly shot along Lucas Valley Road in San Rafael. Located north of San Francisco, it’s a long, sweeping road that looks exactly as if you’re heading out of the city for a short break. This made it the ideal spot for the production team to film both on the ground and from the air.
As it’s a pretty remote road, you’re going to have to drive to this particular Sweetest Thing filming location, but that’s all part of the road tripping fun, right?
The car splash scene in The Sweetest Thing
Vallejo & Grant Avenue in San Francisc
Just when we see that Christina and Peter are going to be reunited, we feel all happy for them. He’s carrying a bouquet of flowers, Courtney and Jane are watching from the window above, it’s all perfect, right?
Well, as they’re across the street from each other, about to cross, a car comes and completely splashes both of them with a huge puddle. Not the vibe you want when you’re reunited with your dream guy.
Christina shouts “Oh come on!” We feel you girl, you need to catch a break somehow!
This site as well as many of the scenes around the main apartment were shot at the intersection of Vallejo & Grant Avenue in San Francisco. Located between Telegraph Hill and Chinatown, there are dozens of eateries and bars all along this area that you can enjoy.
If you’re traveling by bus, both the number 8 and 8BX routes stop around the corner from this Sweetest Thing filming location on Columbus Avenue.
The dry cleaner scene in The Sweetest Thing
New Grant Avenue Cleaners
It’s pretty clear that Jane has grown up in this neighborhood her entire life. Everyone seems to know her, which can be great, but not when you need a dress cleaning with a questionable stain on it.
She heads to her local dry cleaners run by Mr. Martin (Joe Bellan). Jane tries to drop it and run, but he spots her and asks her about the stain, she lies and says it’s soda. He replies “That is not soda, think Jane, think!”
After this a group of school kids, led by Jane’s third-grade teacher and her reverend also coincidentally come into the store, making admitting the real cause of the stain impossible. It’s a cringy and hilarious scene all around.
You can find this iconic Sweetest Thing filming location at New Grant Avenue Cleaners, 1327 Grant Avenue between Vallejo and Green Streets. Located around the corner from our last location, Grant Cleaners is still open at this location, so if you have anything that needs cleaning, why not bring it on by and kill two birds with one stone!
Again, the closest bus stop is on Columbus Avenue - the neighboring street- and is served by both the number 8 and 8BX bus routes.
Dancing up the hill scene in The Sweetest Thing
Kearny and Vallejo Streets
In one of the first scenes of the entire movie, we see Christina calling Courtney to get an update on her day. The pair of them look to be crawling their way up San Francisco’s notoriously huge hills in massive high heels.
The only way to tackle those hills is by having on some major tunes and dancing your way up, which is exactly what Christina does.
Christina: “I’ve been shaking my a** all the way up this hill”
Courtney: “What track?”
Christina: “Track 3”
After this point, Courtney appears at the top of the hill as Christina dances up to meet her.
Again, this location is super close to the car splash scene and the dry cleaners, so you can definitely visit them all in one go. The dancing up the hill scene was shot along Kearny and Vallejo Streets in San Francisco.
Located near the Vallejo steps, you can either climb the hill or wander up the extensive steps leading up from the Northern Waterfront area. Either way, you’ll definitely work up a sweat! The closest bus stop is probably the number 12 route’s stop on Broadway, but if you’re checking out the other filming locations in the area, it’s just a short walk.
So if you want an early 00s movie that’s fun, flirty, and more than a little bit dirty, The Sweetest Thing is it. There are definitely some x-rated scenes, so don’t watch it with your parents. You’ll laugh, you’ll quote it, you’ll book flights to San Francisco.
It’s everything you could want from this kind of film and it’ll also give you plenty of nostalgia for early 00s fashion which is apparently having a comeback!