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I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE

About The Film's Design
I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE was shot entirely on location in Chris Rock's home state of New York, mostly in and around Manhattan. For Rock, there was simply nowhere else that could replicate that crucial New York state of mind. "Chris is very much in love with the city and that really comes through,” explains New York-based production designer Sharon Lomofsky. Adds Rock on his decision to shoot the film in the city: "It's simply hard to get a bad shot in New York!”

While the story of I THINK I LOVE MY WIFE was inspired by Eric Rohmer, when it came to the film's visual style, Rock admits he was influenced by a very different filmmaker – Manhattan native Woody Allen, who has made the city an iconic element in many of his celebrated comedies. Rock collaborated closely with cinematographer William Rexer II to create a luscious urban landscape that is its own love letter to the city. "In stand-up, you're always trying to get to Richard Pryor, and in doing this kind of movie, I think you try to get to Woody,” Rock explains.

Observes Lomofsky: "It's the way that Woody Allen uses New York as a character in his films that influenced Chris. When it came to locations, he went for some very real places that really take you inside New York.”

Those locations include such immediately recognizable areas as midtown's Bryant Park, Times Square, the Herald Square area and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as the West Village and Soho. Several exteriors were also filmed outside Grand Central Terminal, the train station where Richard Cooper catches the train back to the far quieter suburbs every evening.

Uniquely, Rock also wanted to forge a picture of two contrasting New Yorks – one as a city surrounded by suburban havens where families can lead quiet lives and the other an urban wonderland for the young and adventurous. Unlike in most such portrayals, Rock strived to have each be equally attractive in their own way. "Chris and I spoke a lot about his not wanting to patronize suburbia,” recalls Lomofsky. "Richard Cooper really does have this very nice American life.”

Though Richard and Brenda's family home is meant to be in Pelham, a typical Westchester County hamlet, the Cooper residence was actually filmed in the Ditmas Park area of Brooklyn. Ditmas Park stands out as one of the few places around Manhattan where there remain many historic, turn-of-the-century Victorians with that old-fashioned family sensibility and spacious yards. The house Lomofsky and Rock ultimately chose felt like the perfect evocation of the American Dream, a house of considerable charm and size with a sprawling, wrap-around front porch and well manicured lawn surrounded by towering shade trees. "The house has a really classic feeling. It even has a gabled roof,” explains Lomofsky.

While the home was filled with light, the color schemes that Lomofsky chose when decorating the interior are purposefully devoid of strong hues in order to reflect Richard's interior sense of boredom. Similarly, the offices of Pupkin & Langford, where Richard spends most of his waking life away from home, reflect the blandness in Richard's life with a limited, wan palette – that is, until Nikki enters his world.

Lomofsky and her crew built the entire Pupkin & Langford offices from scratch within the shell of a building under renovation at 485 Lexington Avenue – creating a kind of corporate aesthetic gone overboard. "Essentially, Pupkin & Langford is a gray world,” she says. "Not one thing about it is warm or personal.” Even the view from Richard's window of the skyscrapers of midtown Manhattan is a sorry reminder that his life is essentially the same as thousands of other office workers just like himself.

Pupkin & Langford's lobby was filmed at 28 West 44th Street, off Fifth Avenue, in a "Literary Landmark” building that once hous

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