Travel Fix, sometimes you need one, or at least I do. I want to be transported to a foreign land and have wonderful adventures.
Not all of us are lucky enough to be jet setters, ready to fly off on a moment’s notice to some exotic locale. Some of us have to make do with that annual vacation (if we even take that!). So what is the frustrated explorer to do?
Movies. At least for me, there are certain movies that give me that temporary fix. Movies that are love letters to beautiful places. Movies that transport me, even for just a little bit, to those places and let me live that nomad life I love.
So, without further ado Three Movies to get your travel fix on:
Only You (1994)
This little gem of a romantic comedy is set in Italy and is escapism at its very best. Two women Faith (Marissa Tomei) and Kate (Bonnie Hunt) head to Venice on a moment’s notice in pursuit of a man Faith believes is her destiny. They wear fabulous clothes and travel about the country looking for this man; hijinks ensue.
There is a lovely scene where they have run out of gas on the way to Rome. They sit next to a watering trough – only in Italy would a watering trough be this lovely – drinking wine straight out of the bottle and bemoaning their situation. Kate is sensibly dressed in black tights, black leather skirt and heels. Perfect for sitting on a rock.
The clothing aside (I spend a lot of time wondering how they managed to pack so many awesome dresses, palazzo pants, scarves, and shoes into what is basically one suitcase) we tour Rome, see iconic sites, take a drive to Positano and root for Mr. Right to win Faith’s heart. Because Italy and love are meant to go together.
Even if the movie is terribly predictable, the setting makes it all worthwhile. There are breathtaking views from winding roads, charming streets, beautiful hotels, and a glittering nighttime walk through Rome. What’s not to love?
Forget Me Not (2011)
Before Outlander, Tobias Menzies played a musician losing his memory. This lovely little movie starts in a pub and ends up walking us all through London during a long night in which, with the help of a pretty barmaid with higher aspirations, he decides if he should go on or end it all.
This is not light comedy and this is not the usual London we see in movies. We don’t wander through Hyde Park or get sweeping views across Hampstead Heath. No Beefeaters and nary a palace in sight.
Instead we walk through Farringdon and across Blackfriars Bridge, we stroll along the Southbank, and we take a spin on the London Eye. In the meantime there are lots of beauty shots out across London; all glistening and gorgeous.
For the span of this movie, we live in London and this is our experience. We participate in the dance party where everyone is grooving to their own music, we are patrons of the pub, it is our corner breakfast spot where we end the night. This is the movie I watch when I miss London.
French Kiss (1995)
Another romantic comedy that doubles as a travelogue, this time in the French countryside. We see Paris, the gorgeous beaches in the south and take a tour of wine country. Our hapless heroine manages to grump her way through some beautiful places, from the George V in Paris to the stunning sands of Cannes, she reminds us constantly of her hatred for travel.
One of my favorite scenes is Kate (Meg Ryan) walking with Luc (Kevin Kline). She has finally relaxed a bit and is beginning to really see France. Throwing out her arms she says “Beautiful! Wish you were here!” I admit I have used this line on more than one occasion.
In this moment we watch as Kate finally succumbs to the charms of this beautiful country. She finally embraces all the uncertainty and upheaval that has been her impromptu trip and decides to just revel in it. Good lesson for all of us there. Kate allows herself to be transformed by her adventure, as we all become transformed when we stop trying to make a place into our vision of it,
There are so many more movies that I could name, but I love these films for the simplicity and the romance they bring. There is a lovely innocence to them. They also make the locations they are set in another character in the film.
In a sense we are being shown these places by people who love them, a local’s view of them if you will. Each time I watch them, I get that travel fix I need. I feel like I’ve just spent a day or two in a lovely, faraway place.
And yes, each time I watch them I start plotting how to get there – or anywhere – for real.