Cranford on the Big Screen


Sophia Edwards and Paige Nataline

Over the past few decades, Cranford has shared its charm with Hollywood and the film industry. Our small New Jersey town has hosted numerous celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher, Bernie Mac, and Zoe Saldana in the 2005 comedy Guess Who, as well as Natalie Portman and Peter Sarsgaard in the 2004 rom-com Garden State. The following titles are recent or upcoming films set primarily or partly in Cranford:


Dumb Money

In October of last year, many Cranfordians were shocked to see famous comedian and actor Pete Davidson walking the streets of our town. When not posing for numerous pictures with local fans, Davidson was in town filming scenes of the upcoming comedy-drama Dumb Money featuring more stars such as Shailene Woodley, Seth Rogan, Sebastian Stan, and Paul Dano. Based on The Antisocial Network written by Ben Mezwich, the film details the real life events of February 2021 in which Reddit users and common investors temporarily defeated Wall Street by causing a short squeeze in the stocks of GameStop. Dumb Money will be released later this year on October 20th. 


Maybe I Do

A romantic comedy produced by Michael Jacobs, Maybe I Do was released in January of this year with a notable cast including Emma Roberts, Luke Bracey, Richard Gere, Diane Keaton, William H. Macy, and Susan Sarandon. Although majorly filmed in Montclair, New Jersey, Macy and Keaton were spotted right in Downtown Cranford filming scenes in both The Cranford Theatre and Craven BBQ (a popular Portuguese cuisine restaurant that has sadly since closed). The film follows the couple Michelle (Roberts) and Allen (Bracey) who feel ready to discuss marriage with their parents. However, when the two sets of parents meet it becomes apparent it is not an introduction; the married pairs are already involved in a shocking web of affairs with one another’s spouses, setting the messy rom-com up to question the validity of marriage and therefore the future plans of Michelle and Allen.


Based on Ottessa Moshfegh’s novel, Eileen, the film follows a depressed young woman, Eileen Dunlop (Thomasin McKenzie), in 1960s Boston. Beside being caretaker for her alcoholic father, Eileen works as a secretary at a boys’ prison which she refers to as “Moorehead.” When Rebecca Saint John (Anne Hathaway) appears at Moorehead as the latest counselor, Eileen becomes infatuated with her and hopes their friendship is the light at the end of the tunnel. Hathway along with other cast members were spotted filming in Cranford in early 2022 and filmed in various locations throughout New Jersey. The film is set to come out sometime this year but a date is to be determined.


Romantic comedy starring well known comedian Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane centers around two gay men (Bobby Lieber and Aaron Shepard) in Manhattan, New York navigating the highs and lows of their relationship. In contrast to previous LGBTQ+ films, Bros features a cast fully composed of openly LBGTQ+ actors and it’s the first gay rom-com from a major studio. In September 2021, Universal Pictures shot the pride parade scene from Bros decorating Alden Street with rainbows and pride flags. The film was released in September 2022 and can be viewed on Amazon Prime Video, Redbox, YouTube (to rent or buy), Apple TV, Google Play Movies, and Vudu.


Daughter of the Bride

The third (and final) rom-com of this list is Daughter of the Bride, directed by Annette Haywood-Carter. The film features Marcia Gay Harden as Diana, the mother of Kate – who is played by Halston Sage – and soon to be bride to Bruce, played by Aiden Quinn. Kate grows increasingly distressed that Diana’s marriage to Bruce will damage the close relationship she has with her mother, and turns to devious means in an attempt to prevent this. During her scheme of sabotage, Kate is forced to face romantic aspirations of her own as she begins to harbor feelings for her neighbor Josh (Andrew Richardson). Cranford was the primary shooting location of the film, with scenes set in downtown establishments like The Cranford Hotel and Perroti’s Quality Meats. Released in February of this year, Daughter of the Bride can be watched on platforms such as Prime Video and Apple TV.

Next movie night, you may just notice that your hometown is on the big screen!