Reel Estate

A cheap illegal sublet is totally worth a pervy landlord in "Apartment Troubles"

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When a movie or TV show is set in New York City—and if the people making it are savvy—real estate becomes part of the story itself. In Reel Estate, we look at some of the more memorable domiciles to grace the screen.

If you've ever slept with your landlord for cheap rent or hopped on a private jet to L.A. in response to an eviction notice, I guess you're not alone? At least, that seems to be the takeaway from Apartment Troubles, a bummer of an indie comedy that just hit VOD last week.

Per the title, the two main characters Nicole and Olivia, played by the movie's screenwriters, Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler, don't exactly have a great apartment set-up. Though actually, for a while, it wasn't so bad—they shared a spacious, well-lit illegal sublet that appears to be in the East Village or Alphabet City for $1,500 a month. (Unheard of.)

In any case, on with the apartment assessment. Much of the space is taken up with Nicole's artwork:

And they have a makeshift "compost bin," which predictably creates a major worm problem. On the flip side, they also have a pretty nice, no-frills roof deck, where they cremate Olivia's cat after it fatally consumes some of Nicole's gold paint.

But they can't even swing their relatively low rent, and what's maybe more disturbing is the way their landlord shows up after taking an unannounced shower in their apartment demanding that they pay what they owe or get evicted. Nicole seems to offer to sleep with him to solve the problem (this is maybe a thing that's gone on before? it's all very weird and unclear), but he's not having it. The next day, they get an eviction notice:

So, as you do, they hop aboard Nicole's dad's private jet (which they can use even though he's not helping them with the rent), and visit her aunt at her palatial home in L.A.:

A lot of drama ensues from there, and by the time they get back, their apartment—including all of Nicole's artwork—has been totally cleared out. (The landlord had been trying to reach them all weekend, but neither had bothered to charge their phones, so no sympathy here). "I found someone willing to pay three times what you pay," he explains.

This turn of events, we can believe.

You can check out the trailer below, rent the movie for $6.99 on Amazon, or buy it for $12.99 on iTunes.


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Is $2,500/month too steep for a tiny one-bedroom in Alphabet City (or "East Greenwich Village")?