Friday, February 13, 2009

Movies that make you want to travel.

I am a travel junkie.

Seriously, I am.

I probably look at travel news, stories, deals and journals more than anything else during my weekly activities. It is an addiction and something that I may need to eventually get help for (is there a Traveler's Anonymous?). In any event, while my travel bug is still active, let me say that one of the things that makes me want to log onto Kayak or Trip Advisor and book my next trip comes after watching certain movies.

If I see great scenery or a beautiful location, I then get online, check it out, research flight information, see if my airline miles can take me there and before you know it, I am walking the streets of Tuscany with a gelato in one hand and a limoncello in the other saying to myself, "Damn you Diane Lane, how am I going to afford this trip?!"

Here are some flicks you might want to add to your NetFlix or rent from your video store (do those still exist?):

In Bruges: This Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe Award-winning 2008 film directed and written by Martin McDonagh stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hit men hiding out in a small city in Belgium. Yes they are staying "In Bruges", which is a small town outside of Brussels. The backdrop is perfect in my opinion yet Colin Farrell's character hates this city. It is too cold, quiet and boring for him. His character prefers the excitement and energy of Paris and London. But his partner absolutely loves the quaint city and takes in a river cruise, snaps pics of his architecture and enjoys many of drinks at their local watering holes. If you can not have a good time in Belgium then something is seriously wrong with you. A place that is known for the best chocolate and beer on the planet? Perfect!

Vicky Cristina Barcelona: Who wouldn't want to spend a summer in Spain with the likes of Penelope Cruz and Scarlett Johansson? This 2008 Golden Globe Award-winning/Academy Award-nominated film written and directed by Woody Allen is filmed in beautiful Barcelona and has not only a good storyline, but a lot of good looking people. I'm sold.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Based on the 1971 Hunter S. Thompson book, this film starring Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro is such a great flick. Depp and del Toro's interaction throughout the film make for one hell of a ride to Sin City. A movie with so many desert scenes was never so entertaining. Highly recommend. But read the book first.

Under the Tuscan Sun: While this one is a "Uber-chick flick", I could not turn away while my wife watched it. The Italian backdrop was perfetto. Definitely check it out with your wife or girlfriend. If you are a single male then rent it, lower the blinds and cuddle up on the couch with your kitty. It's ok, you are confident in your masculinity.

A Good Year: Set in both London, England and stunningly romantic Provence, France. This 2006 romantic comedy starring Russell Crowe seriously was not the best movie I have seen in recent years, but the location of Provence was good enough to keep me watching through to the end.

Bourne Trilogy: Yes, all three of the Bourne movies, while fast paced and fun to watch in my opinion, also make you want to jaunt to Europe ASAP. Some of the locations used in these great movies include Prague, Paris, Imperia, Rome, Mykonos, Zürich, Tangier, London, Paris, Madrid (as itself and double for Turin) and Berlin (as double for Moscow). Even New York City is used in this movie. That is some serious traveling Mr. Damon.

Once: Set in Dublin, this drama stars musicians Glen Hansard (of popular Irish rock band The Frames) and Markéta Irglová as struggling musicians. I personally found this movie to be entertaining from beginning to end. Plus being Irish and visiting Dublin many times sure did give it extra credit. The soundtrack is equally good.

Into the Wild: Based on the 1996 non-fiction book of the same name by Jon Krakauer about the adventures of Christopher McCandless. This Sean Penn directed film stars Emile Hirsch, Jena Malone, Marcia Gay Harden, Vince Vaughn, Kristen Stewart, William Hurt and Catherine Keener. I loved the book and found the movie to be good, not great. Check out the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder, some pretty good tunes.

Other notable mentions:

Home Alone 2 (New York)
Sleepless in Seattle (duh)
National Lampoon's European Vacation(England,France,Germany,and Italy)
The Da Vinci Code (Rome/Vatican City)
Lost in Translation (Tokyo)

Want to add to this list? Leave a comment!

Have a great holiday weekend!

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