Though it feels far longer, it has only been two and a half years since the outbreak of Covid-19. Yet a slew of movies about the virus has already been produced and released in that scant time, from the horror film “Songbird” to the heist flick “Locked Down” to the rom-coms “The End of Us” and “7 Days.” The latest Covid Cinema offering (as MovieWeb has dubbed the unique genre) comes from none other than “Dawson’s Creek” alum/former Mrs. Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes. Titled “Alone Together,” the drama premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in June and is currently running in select theaters, as well as streaming on-demand via both Vudu and Amazon Prime.
Written by, directed by and starring the actress, “Alone Together” tells the story of Manhattan food critic June (Holmes), whose boyfriend, John (Derek Luke), books a country house in Upstate New York in March 2020 for the two to ride out the early days of the pandemic together. But things don’t exactly go as planned. Upon arriving at the idyllic rural property, June is surprised to learn that John won’t actually be joining her (he is staying in the city to help his elderly parents) and that the one-bedroom, one-bath pad has accidentally been double-booked, forcing her into an unexpected quarantine with a random, albeit handsome stranger named Charlie (Jim Sturgess). The two quickly find common ground, though, whiling away the shutdown over McDonald’s take-out and late-night wine and bourbon-fueled conversations, and it is not long before their relationship turns romantic.
A bit slow-moving (not unlike the pandemic itself), “Alone Together” hasn’t been garnering the best of reviews. If its meager 50% Rotten Tomatoes score is any indication, audiences haven’t exactly embraced it, either. But, at the very least, the scenery is beautiful! Billed as “A New York Lockdown Love Story,” filming took place in Manhattan and Connecticut, with the bulk of the action captured at June and Charlie’s country rental. Said to be at 34 Cherry Ln. in Hudson, the residence is actually located at 34 Ravine Ridge Rd. in Salisbury, Connecticut, just south of the Massachusetts border and about 110 miles north of the Big Apple. (The Springbrook Motel, which Charlie becomes so enamored with mid-film, can be found in the same area. It’s actually the rear side of the White Hart Inn at 15 Under Mountain Rd.)
Unlike what was purported onscreen, the dwelling boasts four bedrooms and three baths in 3,095 square feet, far more than enough space to handle a double-booking should one ever occur, though, sadly, the place is not a vacation rental in real life. (Please remember this is a private home. Do not trespass or bother the residents or the property in any way.)
The pastoral estate was originally built in 1980 by New York fashion designer Thomas Drew, who, as his daughter Bettina told the CT Insider, was responsible for creating “the TWA uniforms in the 70s; they had those colorful scarves.” Upon retiring, Drew relocated from Larchmont in Westchester County, N.Y., to Salisbury, buying a remote 13.57-acre parcel where he constructed a country house far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city. As CT Insider describes, “At the end of a private road and within jogging distance of the Massachusetts line, it was the picture of rural peace and quiet.” Drew lived out the next two-plus decades on the premises, tending to his garden, volunteering locally and serving as the deacon of the Salisbury Congregational Church.
Things came to a sad and abrupt end the night of July 21, 2007, when Thomas wandered out of the home at around 7 p.m., unbeknownst to his caretaker, who was watching television in another room. In failing health and suffering from dementia at the time, the then 91-year-old was never seen or heard from again. Bettina and her sister, Allison, have never stopped looking for answers, though, with the latter even recently penning a book about the disappearance titled “Searching for My Missing Father: An American Noir.”
In 2014, the sisters listed the estate for $750,000 and it ultimately sold a little under two years later for $565,000. The new owners subsequently remodeled the French Revival pad from top to bottom and today, it is a chic modern retreat awash in winsome detailing sprawled across two spacious storeys. (Pre-renovation pictures can be seen here.)
The lower level, outfitted with black walnut flooring, boasts a marble-clad entry, a formal dining room, a living room, a powder room and an open kitchen complete with soapstone counters, professional-grade appliances and an adjacent keeping room with a wood-burning fireplace.
Lined with oak planking, the upstairs contains all four bedrooms, including the owners’ suite, an additional full bath and a large media room.
The property’s real selling point is its sylvan grounds, which are sprawling, to say the least. Featuring vast expanses of manicured lawns, mature foliage, a shaded bluestone patio, an in-ground heated pool and spa and even a brook, the surrounding landscape is gorgeous and inviting.
Listed by Thomas Callahan of Elyse Harney Real Estate, the abode last hit the market in March 2019 at $1.45 million and changed hands the following August for slightly under asking at $1.375 million. The virtual tour that ran with the listing deemed the estate “The best in country living!” And that is not hyperbole! Private, charming and utterly picturesque, it is no wonder the site was chosen to portray June and Charlie’s rental in “Alone Together.”
Both the inside and outside of the residence were utilized extensively throughout the film. Though the place boasts some fabulous bones, production designer Michael Fitzgerald, who was also behind the look of Holmes’ 2016 directorial debut, “All We Had,” overhauled quite a bit of the interior for the shoot. Alterations included painting the living room walls in bright reds and pinks, hanging gauzy curtains and swapping out the furnishings and artwork. Despite the changes, the home remains very recognizable from the 2019 listing photos.
Showcased beautifully, the estate proved the ideal spot for June and Charlie to comfortably quarantine, seriously social distance and ultimately fall in love onscreen.