It's been a long weekend in New Orleans. I traveled over here for reasons that have nothing to do with Mardi Gras or football, and ended up sucked into a weekend where the main -- the only -- activity in this city had to do with the Superbowl and parades. Oh, yeah, there was also a big mayoral election, but it rated only a small banner on the newspaper's front page above a giant photo of Drew Brees.
I've always felt New Orleans deserves better movies than the ones in which it's portrayed. In movies and on TV, "New Orleans" rarely strays from the French Quarter, which is about a foot away from swamps and Cajuns, where everyone talks in hideous accents and eats nothing but gumbo and beignets. Doesn't anyone realize that New Orleanians sound like they're from Brooklyn, not Georgia? The police force is nothing but corrupt, and the city is riddled with prostitution and drug lords. Also, Mardi Gras occurs practically every weekend.
But even though those stereotypes abound, the last couple of years have been good for "The City That Care Forgot" in feature films. I liked both The Princess and the Frog and Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, admittedly for entirely different reasons. And while I wasn't much enamored with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, for the most part I liked the way the city of New Orleans was portrayed in the film. I've found seven feature films set in the New Orleans area for you to enjoy -- I didn't include the 2009 movies mentioned above because they're not on DVD yet (though Ben Button is). I do believe the New Orleans Saints have never appeared in a film, but I suspect that will change fairly soon.