On The Road Movies: Top 11 Travel Movies
By Jeff Game
Much like travel can help you escape from your everyday life, a good movie can help us get lost in world that we may have never known. Even more so, a good movie about travel helps you escape and if it really grabs you, makes you want to take your own journey to the place in the movie.
After all, we all have at least one movie in mind that made us take notice and maybe wanted to go visit some day—even if that was Hogwarts Academy or the Empire State building on Valentine’s Day—there is probably one movie destination, one movie road trip on your bucket list.
Being that is Oscar weekend, here are my top 11 travel movies—movies that have made me want to go and visit that place in the script. Some on the list I have traveled to and some are still on my list—some day I will travel to the rest of the list.What is on your favorite travel movie list?
Lost In Translation
First you have Bill Murray, giving one of his best performances, as he weaves his way through this character that was once famous and now is doing whiskey commercials in Japan. This is story any traveler can relate to, feeling isolated and unsure about this new culture, food, and customs and of course the other language they are all speaking.
Unbearable Lightness of Being
This film about the 1968 uprising in Czechoslovakian introduced me to Daniel-Day Lewis and Juliet Binoche and it also made me dream of visiting Prague some day. Prague is still at the top of my list to travel some day.
Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, two twenty-something’s falling in love on a train through Europe, how cool is that. The first in a trilogy of movies featuring the love these characters build and for me, I could have put all three on my list.
Not only is this a love story of an Italian postman who finds himself and he finds love, he also finds a lifelong friendship with the exiled Chilean poet, Pablo Naruda. This is a great movie to watch on a summer’s night, break off a piece of great bread with salami and get lost in the Italian coastal town.
Midnight in Paris
I could name a dozen movies set in Paris that I could have easily added to this list, however one of my recent favorites is Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. I am already a big Woody Allen fan and I really get lost in this modern day romance that travels back in romantic Parisian history. The opening shot is a love letter to the streets if Paris.
The Blues Brothers/Smokey and the Bandit/Midnight Run
Ok, so this movies are not exactly your feel good, get lost in a vacation movie; these movies are running from the law, sometimes get shot at, smashing up lots of cars, set with the American landscape as the back drop. Besides the running from the law part, each of these movies made me love road trips even more—in a black trans-am— on a mission from God.
Into the Wild
Emile Hirsch leaves behind the world that he is dissatisfied with and loses himself in the Alaskan wilderness. This Sean Penn written and directed film shows the beautiful Alaskan frontier, as well as how isolated we all can feel when we lose ourselves in one place. You may just not want to get too lost and starve to death.
Under the Tuscan Sun
I am an unashamed “chick-flick” fan and first on my list is Under the Tuscan Sun. Post divorce, Diane Lane’s character takes gay vacation tour through the Tuscan countryside and ends up buying a broken down home and in turn, changes her life for the better.
P.S. I Love You
Much like Paris, I could have named so many movies that take place in Ireland, however for this list, I went with a more recent romantic comedy. Even though we lose the main romantic, Irish lead to a brain tumor, the movie takes us on journey to Ireland as well as a discovery of his widow’s purpose for the rest of her life without her Irish love. No seriously, this is a romantic comedy, Irish style.
All the Presidents Men
Not at all a warm vacation movie, however I remember watching this movie as a kid and wanting to visit Washington D.C. and see all of our American history in one place. DC is one of my favorite places to travel and this movie of Redford and Hoffman bringing down Nixon, is one of my favorite movies.
So I Married an Ax Murderer
The title may sound more like a Hitchcock movie that takes place in San Francisco, although it is a wacky Mike Myers trip through one of the greatest cities on this planet. This great comedy showed me how cool and diverse San Francisco is and really helped me fall in love with the golden gate city. Head, pants, now!