So it dropped like 20 degrees here last week in the space of like AN single night, and I pretty much can't deal. It isn't even Thanksgiving, and I'm already in hibernation mode. I just want to cuddle up with my cats and Netflix binge beside the blinding yet strangely comforting light of my season affective disorder lamp.
Obviously I'll have to leave the house at some point. It's essential to at least start your car in the cold weather...or so my dad tells me. And of course there is the whole "keeping a job" thing that comes with apparent adulthood. Thusly I am unable to succumb to seasonal depression the way I'd really like to and sit in front of the TV all day every day. But when I do have the time (hello, Thanksgiving break!), travel movies are a great go-to option.
That said, I haven't seen that many movies apparently. It's a weekly occurrence that someone mentions a movie, and I say I haven't seen it and I am greeted with gasps and a look of horror. I always think I've seen a lot of movies, but I guess the movies I've seen aren't the ones that EVERYONE has seen. And when I sat down to think about what my favorite travel movies were (that weren't already on my Paris Watch Before You Go list), I really struggled to come up with five. So I Googled "best travel movies" and extended my already massive Netflix queue, which didn't solve the problem at all. But somehow I managed to come up with five, and you probably won't find all five of these on any of the other lists I found on my Google search.
I had been wanting to see this one for a while primarily because it stars Audrey Hepburn, and I want to be her (who doesn't?). It was available on my flight to Tokyo, so I watched it, and it made me happy despite the fact that I was aboard a Delta plane. Hepburn plays a princess on a tour in Rome, and when sedated, she wanders out of her hotel and runs into Gregory Peck. What a hottie. Peck plays a reporter named Joe, who doesn't realize who she is and tries to put her in a cab and send her off. But she ends up sleeping it off in his hotel, and the next day he discovers who she is but doesn't tell her. Along with his photographer, they explore Rome. It's cute and old school, and Hepburn + Peck + Italy is an unbeatable combination.
When I studied abroad in Italy in my Italian class, we watched two movies. One was "L'Ultimo Bacio," which was later made into an American version called "The Last Kiss" in 2006. I hated the Italian version, and so, compelled by the masochist within me, I was compelled to see the American version, which I hated equally. I don't remember much other than every character in it sucks and Zach Braff (of all people) has a panic attack about being married at 30 and therefore cheats on his hot wife with some high school chick (I might be blending the two versions...she may have been in college in the American version but it seems Italians are a little less squeamish about statutory rape). Anyway, it made me want to shoot myself in the face and buy this t-shirt. Luckily we also watched "Il Postino," which is a sweet Italian film about a dopey mail guy who befriends Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and plagiarizes his poetry in order to make his crush fall in love with him. Admittedly, I don't remember much about it, but it's cute and it makes me remember Italy fondly.
EAT PRAY LOVE
I know, just call me Captain Obvious, right? I didn't even like this movie that much, probably because I liked the book a lot more and probably because I don't think Javier Bardem is particularly attractive. The author of the book, played in the movie by Julia Roberts, suffers from depression made worse by a crippling divorce and gives up her job and all her money to travel for a year, first to eat in Italy, then to do crazy yoga at an ashram in India, then to I guess fall in love in Bali (although, initially she swore off men, so who knows what the real purpose was supposed to be in Bali). Like I said, it's not a particularly good movie, and even the book is a little like, um OK, #firstworldproblems, but it is pretty solid in terms of vicariously living through someone else's travel adventures.
THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL
Don't ask me why because I won't be able to tell you, but I inexplicably love old people movies, and this one has my favorite old people in it -- Maggie Smith and Bill Nighy. Penelope Wilton is in it too, and she's just as annoying as she is in "Downton Abbey." I kind of feel bad that she always gets those types of parts. Anyway, in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel," a bunch of old British people for various reasons end up retiring to this dilapidated hotel in India, run by this super enthusiastic kid named Sonny. They all have sort of random plotlines, but I like how the movie hilariously captures culture shock, and also I want to go to India.
I saved this one for last because I really REALLY REALLY love it. Jen told me about it when we went to Paris, and I watched it shortly after. I was skeptical because it is a romance and Ethan Hawke is the lead, and I find him unattractive and feminine (says the girl with a raging crush on Eddie Redmayne). So Jen tells me this is a true story, and there are two films that follow it -- "Before Sunset" and "Before Midnight." I haven't seen the other two, but "Before Sunrise" is virtually plotless, and yet it is STILL SO GOOD. Ethan Hawke's character, an American traveling through Europe, meets Julie Delpy's character, a French student on her way back to Paris, on a train from Budapest. He convinces her to get off the train with him in Vienna (which would never happen now because stranger danger), but they stay up all night walking around Vienna and having deep, intellectually stimulating conversations before they have to go their separate ways in the morning, and it is just so. damn. romantic. And I am a sucker apparently.
What are your favorite travel flicks?