People around the world are showing a lot of pride in and care for their local communities right now. We’ve got another way to indulge that impulse without having to leave your home: Cue up a marathon of made-in-Pennsylvania movies and pair them with made-in-PA wines. Below are a few of our favorites.
This superlative comedy is a surprisingly complex look at the brutalities — and absurdities — of race and class. It’s also a hoot, as Eddie Murphy and Dan Ackroyd go toe-to-toe with an assist from the incomparable Jamie Lee Curtis. Toast to the frozen concentrated orange juice futures market with a mimosa made from Pennsylvania sparkling wine.
While there is much to appreciate in this PA-centric classic — the soaring interior of 30th Street Station, an incredibly hunky Harrison Ford at the peak of his powers — it’s the loving depiction of Amish life that endures. Shot on location in Lancaster County, this movie is an ode to the state’s bucolic countryside, so pair it with another old-fashioned beverage: Mead made from PA honey.
Recapture the heartache and glorious mundanity of youth with this low-key romance set at a vintage amusement park outside Pittsburgh. To heighten the summer-vacation vibe, crack a couple of cans of wine — quite a few PA wineries are thinking outside the bottle — and prepare to laugh, cry, and relive the late ‘80s.
Time for a project. Watch all the Rocky movies in order (I-V, followed by Rocky Balboa) and then dive into Ryan Coogler’s high-energy updates, Creed, and its sequel Creed II. Serve up a spread of red sauce fare in honor of the Italian Stallion and pair it with a bottle of easy-drinking Merlot.
In Her Shoes
When choosing a wine to sip alongside this Philly-set romcom (but let’s be serious, the men in the story are secondary) select something that two wildly-different sisters could both enjoy. Chardonnay is a crisp crowd pleaser and would taste great paired with spicy eats inspired by Jamaican Jerk Hut, a local restaurant with a moving cameo in the flick.
The filmmakers behind this epic war film got special permission to film in and around Gettysburg National Military Park (other scenes were shot on a nearby Adams County farm). Pair your history lesson with a bottle of aged red wine; extra points if it spent time in a barrel made from Pennsylvania oak.
That Thing You Do!
Tom Hanks directed this zippy rags-to-riches tale about an Erie-based rock band and their meteoric rise. The title song is sure to worm its way into your brain. Hum the tune as you pop the cork on a bottle of Niagara, a wine as sweet and winning as the film.
Time to turn your brain off! This perfectly-paced and deliciously silly thriller will lead you on a scavenger hunt through famous Pennsylvania historic sites. Choose a wine that is refreshing, bright, and easy — we suggest a dry rosé.
While this movie might be remembered more for the dancing (it’s right there in the title), it’s actually a story about cultivating an elusive dream inside a Pittsburgh steel mill. As we all fantasize about better days, watch Jennifer Beals (and her body double) bust a move while you enjoy your own quitting-time beverage: a glass of cold, sweet, taut Riesling.
Silver Linings Playbook
Set in Delaware County, this Bradley Cooper/Jennifer Lawrence pas de deux is a deeply regional film — from the accents to the Eagles jerseys to the “crabby snacks” served up by the family matriarch. To make this local party snack, top English muffins with crab meat and yellow cheese, then broil in the oven. Pair your salty treat with a bottle of Vidal Blanc; it will cut the richness and accentuate the subtle sweetness of the crab.
Can you really do a PA-centric movie list without at least one M. Night Shyamalan flick? We think this one is underrated: Come for the suspense and the big twist, stay for the scenic Chester County filming locations. Honor the director’s loyalty to his home state by sampling one of its signature grapes: Chambourcin is complex yet drinkable, just like Shyamalan’s movies.
What are the made-in-PA entertainments getting you through? Let us know.