1 Feb,2018 By jagabond
Whether on a plane, relaxing in a hotel, or chilling with Netflix, movies can seriously impact your travel mood. Who hasn’t watched ‘Titanic’ and instantly thought of taking a cruise? I offer you the movies that make me want to wander, and the ones that make me curl into the fetal position and quiver.
Inspire – Before Sunrise
The movie that spawned two sequels and introduced us to Jesse and Celine is one of my favorite all time travel movies. Isn’t this something people dream of? A chance meeting on a train going through Europe, and fate working its magic to produce one unforgettable night. This film is heavy on the dialogue, but that actually makes you feel more a part of the story…being there as these two strangers fall in love while walking through Vienna. Speaking of Vienna, this was the perfect filming location, as it captures Europe in all its majesty in a classy city devoid of sleazy nightlife. The poetry scene with the ‘Viennese bum’ is one of the highlights, as is Jesse and Celine’s first kiss on top of the Riesenrad. I love, love, LOVE this film.
Ruin – No Escape
Why bother traveling when the country you’re visiting could have a massive military coup? That’s the root message of this movie, meant to inject fear into carefree wanderers. Everything happens so quickly. Within moments of a disinterested Owen Wilson meeting a miscast Pierce Brosnan, the leader of an ambiguous Asian country is assassinated. This causes ordinary locals to morph into monstrous animals capable of rape, murder, and other not-so-lovely acts. The scene showing an utterly destroyed U.S. consulate was too unbelievable to be the least bit shocking. Don’t believe the title, you can escape this pointless film by simply not watching it.
Inspire – Everyone Says I Love You
This is one of my favorite Woody Allen movies. The scenery alone is breathtaking, highlighting Manhattan, Paris and Venice. This is a musical, and the songs bring you back to the raucously fun times of Fred Astaire and Marilyn Monroe. Three things I learned from this film? 1) Alan Alda only acts in Woody Allen movies; 2) If Julia Roberts and Drew Barrymore formed a vocal duet, I would never, ever buy their album; and 3) jogging in Venice is something I definitely must do. The closing dance scene with Goldie Hawn is one of my favorite scenes of all time.
Ruin – Love Actually
We all know that one of the joys of traveling is meeting interesting strangers who can add positively to your life, even for a brief moment. So what could be worse than watching a movie full of people you’d never want to meet, or have a drink with? Has there ever been a lazier casting than Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister of England? Also, what’s with all the fat-shaming of that woman who likes him? She isn’t even that chubby, and if that was the joke it wasn’t good enough to be repeated multiple times like it was. Alan Rickman happens to play a pretty believable creeper, and Martin Freeman shows up as a dull, meek porn star. This film made me want to take a month-long break from human contact. There is a great breakdown of this ridiculous movie here.
Inspire – 28 Days Later
For all those waiting until next year for that big solo trip, think again…everything could be over in 28 days. If the threat of zombie apocalypse doesn’t inspire you to get off your ass and start planning, nothing will. This is an extreme version of the ‘life is short’ argument. Scientifically, however, it’s not altogether impossible, as recent history has given us Avian Influenza, SARS, Ebola, and other biological nasties that could put a crimp in your travel plans. This movie also teaches you to stay on the mainland if concerned about the threat of outbreaks. If something happens while in London, Malta, Santorini, etc., remember that islands are easily quarantined.
Ruin – Hostel
Slovakia was angered by their depiction in this movie, though technically it was filmed in Czech Republic. No, if you visit Prague you won’t get your arm sawed off. This film started my extreme dislike of the modern day horror genre. It doesn’t take a NASA scientist to figure out the director digs torture porn. I spent a year traveling and staying in hostels…it was fine. I had some good times, met some great friends, and never ended up strapped to an operating table.
Inspire – Truman Show
Feeling trapped in your hometown? Looking for a way out? What better way to inspire you than a movie about someone literally trapped in a fictional, television-produced facade of a town. Jim Carrey is a weird dichotomy with me – love him in dramas, hate him in comedies. This reminds you of those people from your suburbia life growing up who were too afraid to ever leave.
Ruin – National Lampoon’s European Vacation
This film succeeds in pushing tired European stereotypes. The French are rude to Americans, Germans are lederhosen-wearing buffoons, and Italy is synonymous with organized crime. I understand it’s a comedy, but the cliche depiction of these destinations speaks to the apathy of the scriptwriter.
Inspire – Wizard of Oz
This was the ultimate female solo trip! Imagine meeting unique friends on your travels who were fun yet totally non-threatening. Scarecrow could be easily outsmarted, and the lion would crumple when you fought back. The tin man not having a heart is the biggest concern, and he has that ax. However, if you held onto the oil-can you could ensure he wouldn’t make any quick moves.
Ruin – Solaris
Who would think a trip to outer space could be so boring? This pretentious, slow-moving mess will not only make you question the benefits of travel, but of life itself. As the story goes, George Clooney travels solo to a space station and hangs out with his dead wife…always the recipe for fun times.