Talking About a Little Place Called Utah
By Elizabeth Latenser
This is part of an ongoing series featuring iconic projects filmed in Utah. Projects and artists mentioned in the series filmed here for inspiration, a strong sense of place or to recreate otherworldly experiences.
If they each had half a brain, together they would still only have half a brain.
Dumb and Dumber is just as quotable today as it was when it was filmed in Utah 22 years ago. The film follows Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey) and Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) as they set out to return a briefcase full of money to its rightful owner. Along the way these two friends find themselves in some hilarious and precarious situations.
From the movie, we will forever have gems like “so you’re telling me there’s a chance” and “welp, big gulps huh.” While the film did give us serious #squadgoals we are still a little hazy on some life rules. Can we triple stamp a double stamp? When is it OK to quitsie a startsy? We may never know.
Much of the film was shot in Salt Lake City, Sandy, Heber and Park City, Utah but disguised as other places in the United States. According to City Weekly, when Director Bobby Farrelly was asked about his time in Utah he said:
“We had written the story where the two guys go from Providence to Aspen, and being in Los Angeles when we wrote it, we were trying to think where could we go to shoot this that’s not Aspen. We didn’t think they would let us into Aspen. And so, one of our producers said, ‘You know, a great place to shoot this would be Utah because it has so much to offer. It has flatlands. It has mountains. It has snow.’ We went and took a look and, low and behold, he was right, so we shot it all there and we had a fantastic time. I dunno, I always had a soft spot in my heart for Salt Lake City after that.”
Aww, well the feeling is mutual! Utah residents certainly love spotting their local hangouts in Dumb and Dumber.
Utah residents, hop on your vespa and follow along as we revisit some of the most memorable Utah landmarks (disguised as other places) seen in Dumb and Dumber:
Salt Lake City International Airport as the Providence Airport:
Your first stop on the tour is the notorious spot that puts Lloyd in the whole briefcase mess. The Salt City International Airport is the right where Lloyd drops Mary Swanson off and she apparently steals a piece of his heart. “Goodbye my loooooove…”
Harry and Lloyd’s apartment on the East Coast but really in downtown Salt Lake City:
Harry and Lloyd share an apartment that has carpet stains and wall art you may commonly find in a young bachelor’s place. Their quaint homestead apartment is located in the heart of downtown Salt Lake City. Farrelly told City Weekly, “Believe it or not, we had to re-create that [For Dumb & Dumber To] because the guys haven’t grown up at all, and they’re still living in the same place, and so we actually had to rebuild it in Atlanta. It might have made more sense for us to just fly out and do it there.
Mary Swanson’s East Coast Mansion is really in Sandy, Utah:
Mary Swanson’s East Coast Mansion is actually a cleverly decorated restaurant building called La Caille in Sandy near Little Cottonwood Canyon. Another La Caille building was used as Mary’s parents house in a fantasy cooked up by Lloyd.
Aspen Snow Owl Benefit exit via the Devereaux Mansion:
The horse drawn carriage Harry and Lloyd use to leave the esteemed Aspen Snow Owl Benefit is actually parked outside the Devereaux Mansion. (Too bad they didn’t use the Mutt Cutts van) The mansion has all kinds of fun history and it’s a favorite for local SLC ghost hunters.
The Second Best Motel in Heber City:
You may recall Harry and Lloyd sharing a bath along their journey at the Second Best Motel. The exterior of the hotel was redecorated slightly but the building is the modern day Heber Inn in Heber City, Utah. City Weekly caught up with the location scout Lee Steadman who mentioned the heart shaped tub itself was actually filmed at The Osmond studios in Orem, which is now the Cirque Lodge rehab clinic.
Meet the parents in the Deer Valley Resort Area / Park City, Utah:
Mary’s parents enjoy the finer things in life and their East Coast mansion is actually a cozy but large cabin in Deer Valley. Which one? We are not totally sure.
Harry and Lloyd enjoy 7-Eleven:
This is a hotly contested 7-Eleven location where Lloyd very famously declared “big gulps huh?” Side note, apparently that line was ad libbed by Jim Carrey. According to City Weekly, this is a big gulp shop in Heber City though some residents firmly believe it was a 7-Eleven in Ogden.
“I’m talking about a little place called Aspen”
Portions of the famous scene where Lloyd and Harry ride into Aspen on a mighty vespa with ice crystals hanging from their noses were filmed in Park City.
We know there are more glimpses but those are just a few from the famous 1994 flick. If you’re really adventurous check out Ski Curbed for the route that begins on the East Coast before finally arriving in the Beehive state.
Contributing writer Elizabeth Latenser is a film fan, mountain momma, dog lover and tree hugger.