For All You Thirsty Travellers, These Iconic Flicks Will Fill The Void Until You Can Vacay Again
Lockdown has made us thirsty for a lot of things. Espresso martinis. Lying on the sand and not getting shooed away like a seagull. Bars. PEOPLE. But one of the biggest things is travel. And not to Woolies and back. Like proper travel. Rosé-spiked, sunburnt-face kinda travel. So with Sydney currently switching places with Antarctica and travel bans still in place, we thought the only way to cure our wanderlust is with a vacay flick. Before you start combusting with a serious case of travel bug syndrome, why not watch a film that gives you allll those travel feels without the 30 Euro Aperol Spritzes and the threat of a deadly virus?
Sounds good to us!
First up, the modern gal’s version of Roman Holiday: the one, the only, The Lizzie McGuire Movie (just don’t tell Audrey Hepburn Hilary Duff is her replacement). Seriously, as soon as Lizzie landed in Rome all we could think about was throwing euro coins (the 1 cent ones) into the Trevi fountain, eating pistachio gelato and getting approached by dreamy Italian pop stars by the name of Paolo. And FYI, that exact Roman scenario is still on our radar.
Staying in the land of pizza and pasta, who can go past the one film that made everyone (mentally) book tickets to Bergamo and want to be part of a bi three-way? Yep, not only did Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name make us want to urgently ride bike’s under the Lombardian sun and fossil dive in Lake Garda, but it also introduced us to a godly creature by the name of Timothée Chalamet. Add a blonde, blue-eyed, honey-skinned adonis called Armie Hammer and a very juicy peach and all of sudden we weren’t opposed to gettin’ kinky with fruit. The film is quite literally the quickest ticket to Italian cottagecore - and Timothée Chalamet - money can’t buy.
But before Armie and Timothée were gettin’ hot ‘n’ heavy with peaches in the Italian countryside, a spicy, sociopathic, shirtless Jude Law was selling us the Italian dream alongside Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon. Set in the 1950s, The Talented Mr. Ripley offered a nostalgic/murderous take on touristing around Italy; from the idyllic lakes of Lazio to the lavish splendour of Venice, it even had us googling “Mongibello” - which was in fact a fictional town created by director and writer Anthony Minghella and made up of a picturesque mash-up of Positano and villages on the islands of Ischia and Procida. But hey, we still wanted to go - real or not. It also made us quickly rethink our resort wardrobe: white shirts, full skirts and headscarves, anyone?
Across the pond, equally attractive Med haven Greece has been the fodder of many films. I mean, suuurely Lena Kaligaris’s trip to Santorini to visit her yiayia and pappou is the sole reason HORDES of Nikon-wielding tourists now swarm the island. If Lena side-saddling on a donkey didn’t sell you Santorini then the dramatic (and kinda unbelievable) blue and white vistas that feature in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants certainly did/will.
Even more Hellenic-centric is Mamma Mia! Set on the faux Greek island of Kalokairi (actually Skopelos in case you’re planning a Mamma Mia! inspired trip in 2025), the glistening green waters and white sugar cube architecture came alive to the sounds of ABBA in the 2008 film adaption of the musical. A sweaty Meryl Streep singing “Dancing Queen” on an idyllic Greek island made us all want to grab a souvlaki and smash some plates in Greece faster than you can say YEEROS! OPA!
On the theme of sparkling beaches, who could forget the ultimate beach thirst trap: The Beach. That powder white sand, that turquoise sea, those swaying palms and that sweaty, SWEATY 2000 Leonardo DiCaprio with freshly-spiked hair (bye bye Titanic locks) all squinty n sexy in the sun. We die. While Danny Boyle’s filmic take on the Alex Garland novel wasn’t deemed sh*t hot, a boyish DiCaprio certainly was, SO hot he basically opened the flood gates to Ko Phi Phi Le in Thailand where the movie was filmed, with tourists flooding the tiny island en masse to get a glimpse of that crystal water / bathe in the exact patch of ocean Leo makes out with Virginie Ledoyen and a whole lot of shimmering plankton. (FYI, making out underwater does NOT look like this IRL, people).
Kate Bosworth also made us want to get our hair wet and set sail for Hawaii in surfer chick flick, Blue Crush. We mean a boy-leg bikini is bad at the best of times but Bossy made us rethink the style and take surfing lessons on the North Shore in the hopes we too nab a Billabong contract and hunky surfer dude.
A side-step away from the idyllic beaches, there were also those films that made us yearn city holidays, too. Watching Crazy Rich Asians, for example, made us all plot a trip to Singapore and think about how we can yoink a handsome Asian heir like Nick Young (seriously, Henry Golding, hiii). While Lost in Translation still stands as one of the easiest trips to Tokyo you’ll ever take without flying (VERY handy right now).
And then aaalll those New York classics. From Breakfast At Tiffany’s to When Harry Met Sally, to Home Alone and The Devil Wears Prada, they’ve all dangled that bloody NYC carrot (or should we say BIG Apple?) romanticising the “city where dreams are made”. We just sat there like potatoes pining for pastrami sandwiches and walks through Central Park waiting to find Mr. Big (and NOT have him leave us at the altar).
Even the hella bad Sex And The City 2 satifised our cravings for the glamorous desert escapade we’ve always wanted to take (racisim and sexism excluded).
Heck, even the oldies in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel made retirement in India look insanely lush: like who doesn’t want to stay in a mini Taj Mahal and eat roti all day? (hopefully with a bumbling Dev Patel included).
And if there’s one person to persuade us to go to England during winter (AKA hell on earth) it’s a scarf-wrapped, red-nosed Jude Law. Holy hell, we were on every damn home swap website looking for countryside cottages under any pseudonym containing the words “Jude” and “Law”. Alas, nothing. But watching The Holiday still has us craving that quaint cottage life and bangers ‘n’ mash in a heartbeat.
Then there were the travel films that made us wanna quit our jobs, jump on a plane and eff off to a far-flung place with no reception, no “likes” and “unfollows” and “retweets”, no goddamn anything (except fresh air and stunning scenery). You know, those coming-of-age, crossroads films like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, which made even a certain, er, precious writer reconsider all that Bottega Veneta, pack a Kathmandu backpack and book a flight to Eyjafjallajökull. (For the record, I didn’t, I still really would like to but only when Bottega release a backpack).
And of course, the bible of self-discovery, Eat Pray Love, which sees Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts) leave her seemingly “perfect” life - the husband, home, career - for a life on the road, seeking the true pleasures of life (AKA gelato in Rome). The novel-turned-film single handedly made an entire generation question the very existence of their being: what do I really want in life?
But for those travellers who prefer to stay closer to home (and aren’t really phased by deep existential voyages), nothing beats a good ol’ fashion road trip. And there are PLENTY of movies that make you wanna fire up the combi and try out your s’mores skillz. Obviously number one is Britney in Crossroads, duh. I mean if Britney Spears on a road trip from Georgia to LA in a yellow 1973 Buick Skylark convertible doesn’t stoke your roadie fire, NOTHING will. Except maybe Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce in drag travelling across the Australian desert to “bloody” Alice in a shiny silver bus called “Priscilla”. Those emu costumes, that makeup, that flying silver cape in the red dust. Bow. Down. QUEENS.
So whether you’re riding in the backseat of Clark Griswold’s wagon on a cross-country expedition, or waiting for Timothée to whisk you away to the hills of Bergamo, nothing quite cures the travel bug like a bloody good holiday flick. So stick it travel bans, we don’t need to go anywhere but the couch.
This article was written by Kassie Angelo.
Main Image Credit: Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures.
Take A Look At Which Movies Broke The Box Office Each Year Of The Last Decade...
Take A Look At Which Movies Broke The Box Office Each Year Of This Decade
Disney Pixar1 of 10
Warner Bros. Pictures2 of 10
Marvel Studios3 of 10
Disney4 of 10
Paramount Pictures5 of 10
Disney6 of 10
Marvel Studios7 of 10
Disney8 of 10
Marvel Studios9 of 10
Marvel Studios10 of 10