Movie filmed in Macomb County debuts in Birmingham

By: Julie Snyder | Online Only | Published March 27, 2013

MACOMB COUNTY — A movie that was filmed mostly in Macomb County in 2011 will open for a limited engagement in Oakland County starting this weekend.

Family Weekend,” starring Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Modine, Olesya Rulin, Joey King and Shirley Jones, will play at the Birmingham 8 theater, 211 S. Old Woodward Avenue in Birmingham March 29-April 4.

Most of the movie was filmed in Harrison Township, Clinton Township and St. Clair Shores.

According to a release from the office of Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel, “Family Weekend” is directed by Benjamin Epps, and follows 16-year-old Emily Smith-Dungy (Rulin), an incredibly motivated overachiever who has grown increasingly frustrated with her parents’ lack of support and guidance. Her mom, Samantha (Chenoweth), is a career-focused, no-nonsense, high-powered business executive. Her dad, Duncan (Modine), is a happy-go-lucky artist who can’t be bothered to earn a paycheck.

When they miss their daughter’s big jump-roping competition, Emily hits her breaking point and takes it upon herself to restore order in the home. She and her siblings unite and take their parents hostage in hopes of becoming a family again.

“We got such great treatment from everyone in Michigan and especially Macomb County,” said producer Adam Saunders of Footprint Features. “Everyone we came in contact with went out of their way to make us feel safe and comfortable. They really set the tone for a great project and the film reflects that.”

Epps will attend the evening showing on Saturday, March 30 to talk about the film and answer questions from the audience.

“It was a great experience for our whole family,” said Christopher Press, a dentist with a Clinton Township practice whose home was used in the film. “Everyone associated with the movie was a pleasure to deal with. I have only seen bits of the movie so far but from what I can tell, our community is realistically represented.”

Shooting locations included Fraser High School, St. Clair Shores Lakeview High School and Highland Park High School. The Macomb County Film Office assisted the production in securing locations, props and extras for the crowd scenes.

Showtimes each day are: 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7 p.m., and 9:30 p.m.