Just because you’re making a movie on a cruise ship doesn’t mean everything’s going to be smooth sailing, even for an all-star, A-List cast! When Kelsey Grammer, Kristen Bell, and Seth Rogan signed on to make Like Father, they saw that the primary setting for the film, a Netflix original that just dropped, would be set primarily on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas. What better way to spend a few weeks making a movie.
But there was one problem the person who scheduled location shoots didn’t take into account: Hurricane Season!
That She Blows
Kristen and Kelsey talked about the cruise experience, good and bad, telling The Cocktail “When hurricane Irma shut us down we were basically on the run in Florida. Trying to figure out how to survive and get out of this hurricane weather.” Clearly no one on the team lives in Florida, or the whole mess could have been avoided. But she says they made it work, saying “We almost didn’t have a choice but to get closer.”
So.. how did they spend the time? “We were shut indoors for a week. We were playing board games together. Interesting and very fun experience. It was a delicious group of people.”
We love delicious people almost as much as we love delicious cocktails!
The movie is about Rachel (Bell) getting left at the altar and improbably reconciling with her long-lost dad (Grammer) on the honeymoon cruise. It’s pretty obvious that Royal Caribbean paid for some heavy-duty product placement. From the surf machine, to the robotic bar, to the t-shirts our leads wore (the trip was spur of the moment and the characters didn’t bring luggage). But it does serve as an unusual backdrop. It almost, but not quite, becomes a character in the film.
Full Steam Ahead
But category five hurricanes aside, as work places go they say this wasn’t bad. Kelsey was particularly impressed saying “It was so much bigger and more difficult to take in than I thought.” And Kristin found plenty of stuff to do in-between takes. “I was like oh yeah, it’s a ship, and I’d been on a cruise before when I was 16, and it is a small city. There’s a casino, there’s an ice skating rink, there’s a little place in the middle that’s like Central Park. It was crazy huge there’s so many people. It was really fun I really enjoyed it.”
O Captain, My Captain
Kelsey enjoyed getting VIP attention from the ship’s ultimate VIP, the captain! “One of the things, it was one of the last nights we were shooting. The captain came in and spent some time with us. Now I’ve been on boats all my life. I love boats I’ve run a boat I’ve done a lot of sailing. This guy is the captain of the largest ship in the world. He is the rock star of that industry. The guy. There’s nobody cooler. He has been entrusted with over 7,000 lives once a week. I mean he is fantastic.”
Cap even made shooting easier, Kelsey said, by ‘changing’ the weather. “I remember getting a little difficulty with the wind during a particular shot. He said ‘I’ll turn the boat a little bit and slow it down.’ I thought man that is the coolest thing I’ve ever heard. So he angled it a little bit, brought back the speed and man, this is, that’s the life.” Kristin agreed, chiming in with “”he’s a baller.”
As for the film, you can read our full review here. But it’s safe to say that the performances by Bell and Grammer definitely take a pedestrian and predictable script and raise the movie to something you can enjoy with your family on a blah or cool day. If nothing else, you can watch it in winter and dream of being on a cruise ship. Just remember: August-October is prime hurricane season in the Caribbean!
The Critic’s Cocktail Recommendation
A Hurricane! The light and fruity drink goes down a lot smoother than a ship in high seas!