A good film can make you want to relive the experiences of its main characters by the time the credits roll, and so it is with many vacation movies. Whether you’ve dreamed of mastering Italian in Naples or learning to samba like a pro in Rio, exotic movie locations have a way of beckoning you to travel. These five films can satisfy your wanderlust and perhaps even send you off on an adventure of your own.
Eat, Pray, Love. Maudlin overtones aside, this film packs a lot of destinations into one storyline. Over the course of just a couple of hours, you get to follow Julia Roberts’ existentially lost character as she devours the pasta in Italy, learns to meditate in India and finally falls in love in Indonesia. It’d be a challenge to pack all of the filming locations into your vacation itinerary, but take your pick among Bali, Indonesia; Delhi, India; and Naples, Italy.
Couple’s Retreat. This is not your typical romantic comedy, starting with the fact that it was set in Bora Bora. Watching this film will evoke raucous laughter more than it tugs at your heartstrings, but all for the better as you see how several couples navigate the tricky turning points in their relationships with an obstacle course of absurd therapy tactics. After a good comedic experience, book a room at the St. Regis Bora Bora resort to see for yourself where the film was made.
The Holiday. Headed by two Hollywood heavy-hitters, this movie takes place in the dual setting of Los Angeles and Surrey, England. Based on the premise that the two lead characters need to swap places for the December holidays to escape their failed romantic relationships, the film dives into an enjoyable path of discovery, as seen by the points-of-view of two foreigners. If you want to experience the magic of Iris’s (Kate Winslet) quaint college, head to Surrey in Southeast England.
Y Tu Mamá También. This instant cult classic offered a peek into the shenanigans of two Mexican teens who embark on a nearly unimaginable road trip with a willing older woman. Though the plot is heavy with self-discovery and adolescent awakening, it offers some beautiful vistas of Mexico beaches. Head to La Boca de Cielo beach in Chiapas, Mexico to get a glimpse of the real thing.
Rio. This may have been an animated film, but it brilliantly captured the spirit of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. With a robust soundtrack peppered with samba tunes and jazz-inspired ballads sang in Portuguese, you’ll be clamouring to book your ticket before the movie’s done. If you want to experience the opulent parade floats and sea breeze, head to South America’s largest country in the season before Lent.
You might be ready to go after these movie experiences, but first, you’ll have to figure out how to get there. If you’re daunted by the financial aspects of travel, there’s no need to worry. Using online resources like Craiglist, Ebay and MusicMagpie can help you earn the cash that you need to trek the world like Julia Roberts or Cameron Diaz–no fancy production crew necessary.