While Hollywood loves filming conventional stories in New York, Los Angeles, Connecticut, or Rhode Island. New Jersey is a favorite among a certain brand of filmmakers like Kevin Smith, who loves portraying the Garden State’s underrated charm. Quite a lot of people believe the state’s proximity to New York is the only reason for its popularity in Hollywood. But locals know the town has its culture and soul like no other state in the country.
There’s a long list of films, books, and TV series set in New Jersey. We’re looking at the six most popular movies, including a few that turned into cult classics, based in the Garden State.
1. Atlantic City
Sally is a waitress who dreams of becoming a Blackjack dealer in Monte Carlo. Her ex-husband shows up one day with stolen cocaine and wants to sell it. Sarah Sarandon plays the lead, earning Atlantic City critical acclaim and quite a few award nominations. The film, however, failed to live up to its hype at the box-office. If you’d like to try your hands at Blackjack, poker or slots, visit New Jersey Punter.
2. Chasing Amy
Holden, and Banky are best friends and comic-book creators who find their relationship under stress when one of them falls in love with Alyssa at a convention. The story progresses with Holden realizing his friend’s jealousy stems from love. The beautiful story is a classic Kevin Smith rom-com.
Another classic Kevin Smith creation, Clerks, is a low-budget film that effectively captures the laidback New Jersey spirit from back in the early 90s. The story revolves around two friends working at a convenience store, portraying a day in their lives as they annoy customers, play hockey, and discuss movies while hanging out on the store’s roof.
4. The Wrestler
Legendary method actor Mickey Rourke plays the part of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a veteran wrestler stuck in the past. Despite his growing age and failing health Mickey refuses to retire from the rings, determined to reclaim past glories from his prime back in the 80s. A growing consensus claims the movie best captures the New Jersey spirit.
5. The Hurricane
Veteran actor Denzel Washington slips into the shoes of Ruben “The Hurricane” Carter, a former middleweight boxing champion wrongfully convicted of a triple-homicide. After serving a 25-year sentence, Carter struggles to cope with everyday life. The story narrates the tale of a person’s extraordinary resolve against impossible odds. The Hurricane received critical acclaim and is often counted among the best New Jersey films of all time.
6. Garden State
Andrew Largeman is a New Jersey resident currently pursuing a career in acting in LA. He’s heavily medicated for a mental condition but decides to go clean while attending his mother’s funeral back home. The story revolves around feelings he’d long forgotten, falling in love, and the decision to move back to his home state.