Retro Baltimore: Charm City is one degree from Kevin Bacon

If you have a soft spot for romantic comedies, Kevin Bacon, or for movies set in Baltimore, you’re in luck. “He Said, She Said,” which came out 25 years ago, is available for rental online, and you can travel back to 1991-era Baltimore from the comfort of your own home in Baltimore, assuming that’s something you’d want to do.

Here’s the premise: Dan Hanson (Kevin Bacon) and Lorie Bryer (Elizabeth Perkins) are reporters for The Baltimore Sun. Their editors assign them to write a point-counterpoint column in which they debate the issues of the day. He’s a conservative, she’s a liberal, sparks fly. The column is a hit, and the duo gets their own TV show.

Oh, and, of course, they fall in love. 

The movie has its own point-counterpoint structure. The first half shows Dan’s perspective of their relationship, and the second half is Lorie’s. This is kind of interesting -- a meditation on the fallibility of memory and gender differences in observation of a relationship.

Just kidding, it’s not that deep.

But it has some satisfying moments -– like when Lorie and Dan are sparring a la "Much Ado About Nothing" or "His Girl Friday," or any one of those movies where the two main characters’ verbal banter is really just foreplay. 

“He Said, She Said" was directed by real-life couple Ken Kwapis and Marisa Silver. Kwapis also directed “He’s Just Not That Into You” (2009) which was filmed in Baltimore, and like that movie, it covers some familiar Charm City landmarks. (Hey, it’s Eddie’s!) At the film’s premiere at the Senator Theatre, director John Waters quipped, “I thought it was great seeing Baltimore completely through the eyes of someone who doesn't live here.”

Mr. Bacon came to town for the film’s premiere. Jean Marbella covered it for The Sun. Bacon's hair, she wrote “was highly moussed and whose compliments to Baltimore were nearly as uplifting.”

"I'm crazy about this town,” he told reporters. It was his second time filming in Charm City — the first time, it was "Diner" (1982). According to Bacon: "Baltimore, I think, has gotten better and better and better."

If the film proved one thing, it’s that Baltimore Sun reporters make for great romantic comedy protagonists. Just ask Meg Ryan, who played Sun reporter Annie Reed in "Sleepless in Seattle” two years later.  

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