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Franck’s Wedding Coordinator Shop from “Father of the Bride”

Apr 12th, 2012 | By | Category: Movie Locations

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When the Grim Cheaper and I first showed up to stalk Fig & Olive restaurant, from the 2012 “Matthew’s Day Off” Honda CR-V Super Bowl commercial which I blogged about last week, I became absolutely enchanted with Melrose Place, the tiny tree-lined street on which the eatery is located.  Even though I had been a fan of the series Melrose Place back in the 90s, before tracking down Fig & Olive earlier this year I had no idea that the charming and idyllic little street, which runs a scant three blocks and is made up of mostly high-end boutiques, even existed.  In a recent About.com Los Angeles article, author Shana Ting Lipton calls Melrose Place a “hidden gem” and she could not be more right!  Because its name so closely resembles that of the neighboring, and far more well-known, Melrose Avenue, I believe Melrose Place often gets lost in the shuffle, which explains why this stalker had never before heard of it.  Needless to say, I absolutely fell in love with the picturesque little thoroughfare on the spot, as did the GC.

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While we were there, I happened to notice that the sidewalks on Melrose Place were extremely wide with brick ornamentation and my mind immediately flashed upon the shop where wedding coordinator Franck Eggelhoffer (Martin Short) and his assistant, Howard Weinstein (BD Wong), worked in fave movie Father of the Bride – a location that I had long been trying to track down.  For some odd reason, I had remembered that the sidewalk in front of Franck’s shop was also quite wide and lined with brick (I know, I know – my mind retains the oddest of information), so I snapped a quick pic of the Melrose Place sidewalk so that I could compare the two when I returned home.  Well, lo and behold, when I popped in my DVD later that night, I was able to confirm that the sidewalks were one and the same.  Yay!

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From that point, all I had to do was pinpoint the exact storefront where Franck worked and, being that Melrose Place is only three blocks long, the venture was an easy one.  Then, last Thursday, after I had figured out the correct spot, I dragged Mike, from MovieShotsLA, right on back out there to do some stalking of it.

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Franck’s shop shows up only once in Father of the Bride, in the scene in which George Banks (Steve Martin) begrudgingly accompanies his wife, Nina (Diane Keaton), and daughter, Annie (Kimberly Williams-Paisley), to meet the hard-to-understand wedding coordinator for the first time.  One of my very favorite lines in the movie is actually uttered during that scene – when George laments over the high price of the wedding cake, he says, “My first car didn’t cost $1,200!”, to which Franck responds, “Well, welcome to the ‘90s, Mr. Banks!”  Love it!

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In the scene, George, Nina and Annie are shown walking east on Melrose Place in front of the building numbered 8420.

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And I, of course, just had to imitate them by posing for an action walking shot while I was there. Smile

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I believe that the green “Antiques” awning that was visible in the background behind the trio was once attached to the building pictured above, which is located at 8422/8424 Melrose Place.  Fellow stalker Owen, from the When Write Is Wrong blog, came across an article about the vacant property which mentions that it did, in fact, once house an antique store.  And, as fate would have it, back in 2007 the very same building was also the site of a Hanes Comfortique Event hosted by none other than Owen’s main squeeze, Jennifer Love Hewitt.  Talk about synchronicity!

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The building that stood in for Franck’s shop, which was also an antique store at the time of the filming, is now home to the Zero + Maria Cornejo boutique.  According to the About.com Los Angeles article that I mentioned earlier, Melrose Place actually used to be known as “the antiquing street” thanks to the myriad of antique shops that were located there once upon a time.

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And while the full exterior of the property was not shown in Father of the Bride, the door that Annie, George and Nina walked through still looks exactly the same today as it did back in 1991 when the movie was filmed!  Love it!

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The real life interior of the store was also featured in Father of the Bride.  As you can see in these pictures, while that interior has since been remodeled, it is still set up in the same basic three-room configuration that it was during the filming.

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Even the ribbed pillars that were visible in the background of the scene are still there, as you can see in the main photograph featured in this RackedLA post.

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In the scene, George, Nina, Annie, and Franck sat on a couch in front of the store’s eastern-most window.

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That window is pictured above.

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It is thanks to that portion of the scene that I was able to pinpoint exactly where Franck’s shop was situated.  While looking for clues, I had noticed a few distinct architectural elements on the building located across the street, which was visible through Franck’s window.  From there I used Google Street View to search for those elements and, thankfully, it was not long before I found them.  As you can see in the screen shot and Street View image above, the arched window (denoted with a pink arrow), horizontal lip (denoted with a yellow arrow) and rectangular-shaped cutout (denoted with  a blue arrow) of the building located at 8417 Melrose Place all match up to what appeared onscreen.

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Sadly, as you can see above, those elements are now covered over with large awnings and are no longer visible.  Thank God for Street View!

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I had also spotted a center island and a “Keep Right” sign through the window in the scene and, looking at aerial views, saw that that same island was located just east of the Zero + Maria Cornejo boutique.  And while the island still exists to this day, the “Keep Right” sign has since been removed.

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The Zero + Maria Cornejo employee that we spoke with while there could NOT have been nicer and was not only floored to learn that he worked in such a cinematically significant location, but also allowed Mike and me to snap some pics through the same window that Annie, Nina, George, and Franck sat in front of.

On a Father of the Bride side note – I just learned that the character of Franck Eggelhoffer was inspired by real life wedding planner Kevin Lee, who appeared on this past season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as the wedding coordinator hired by Lisa Vanderpump.  You can watch a video clip of the “real Franck” by clicking above.  And yes, Martin Short had the guy down to a T!

Until next time, Happy Stalking!  Smile

Stalk It: Zero + Maria Cornejo, aka Franck’s wedding planning shop from Father of the Bride, is located at 8408 Melrose Place in West HollywoodFig & Olive restaurant, from the 2012 “Matthew’s Day Off” Honda CR-V Super Bowl commercial, is located just down the street at 8490 Melrose Place in West Hollywood.  You can visit Fig & Olive’s official website here.

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8 comments

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  1. Ashley says:

    I love the detective work that went into this one! You’re awesome, Lindsay!

  2. Owen says:

    Great post. I love the sleuthing and the attention to detail. Keep up the great work.

  3. Mallory says:

    I LOVE all things FTB!! Thanks for the post!

  4. Susan Prokosch says:

    I love those movies! I recently started watching Awake on NBC and I noticed one ot the psycologists on that show looked familiar and it turns out that he is BD Wong. I hadn’t seen him in anything in a long time.

  5. Lavonna says:

    Love Father of the Bride… I can’t believe Kevin Lee was the inspiration for Franck..LOVE IT!


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