Over the years, Hollywood has produced many films that have utilized their locations and created unforgettable cinematic experiences. The following is a list of movies where the locations featured have inspired many to visit the places in real life. To really get the experience, you must view these films and see which inspire your wanderlust.
Under the Tuscan Sun 2003
This Diane Lane feature will have you fall in love with the Tuscany region. While on a tour of the region, Frances spontaneously creates a new life for herself by purchasing a villa. In the process of renovating it she manages to assimilate herself into the Tuscan way of life while befriending the townspeople and an eccentric heiress. She begins an affair with a hot Italian gentleman from Rome after a chance meeting. The movie concludes with Frances finding inner peace and happiness with herself and her new life in Tuscany.
Out of Africa 1985
This love story starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep will melt your heart while inspiring travel to Kenya. The memorable images start with the opening credits and continue throughout the film. Whether Streep and Redford are stumbling across an elephant herd or flying together above the landscape, the camera captures sights not soon forgotten. No doubt that many safari expeditions have been booked after viewing this remarkable film.
The Bucket List 2007
Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman are terminally ill patients who become unlikely friends after meeting at the hospital. They decide to live whatever life they have left to the absolute fullest extent and check off their bucket lists together. The men go skydiving, race cars and travel to the Taj Mahal in India, the pyramids of Egypt and Tanzania for a safari. This buddy movie has hilarious as well as touching moments.
New York City is the backdrop in this 1979 Woody Allen film. The director’s love affair with his hometown is obvious from beginning to end. Shot in black and white, the film’s numerous location shots take place all over the borough from Central Park and the Upper East Side to Midtown and Greenwich Village. The location shots are a time capsule to an era long gone and sure to inspire a visit to the Big Apple.
Lost in Translation 2003
Two lonely Americans meet up in Tokyo and form a fast and deep friendship. Bill Murray plays Bob, a middle-aged actor, and Scarlett Johanssen is Charlotte, the wife of a photographer tagging along during his assignment. They meet up several times and share the exhilarating and sometimes confusing experience of a strange land far away from home. One poignant moment is when Charlotte visits a shrine in Kyoto and witnesses a wedding. The film concludes with an emotional goodbye embrace between Bob and Charlotte on a Tokyo street that has the viewer wondering what he whispered to her.
The Talented Mr. Ripley 1999
Matt Damon is Tom Ripley, a creepy con artist who eventually takes over the identity of rich playboy Dickie Greenleaf, played by Jude Law. Ripley is an outsider in Greenleaf’s world of wealth and privilege and will do anything to acquire the life including lying, fraud and eventually murder. The plot is set in the late 1950s and set in various locations from the South such as Naples and concluding in Venice and gives the viewer the idea of the Italian life from an earlier generation.
Up in the Air 2009
Ryan (George Clooney) is a corporate killer who travels around the United States firing employees during a recession. He feels more at home in a hotel room and in the air than his impersonal tiny apartment in Omaha. Ryan and his protégé Natalie (Anna Kendrick) travel from Miami to Detroit to Las Vegas, firing workers and having some fun along the way. The viewer may envy Ryan’s solitary traveling lifestyle, and at first he loves everything about his life. After hearing of the possibility of being grounded due to Natalie’s remote innovation, he meets traveling businesswoman Alex (Vera Farmiga), the female equivalent of Ryan. He considers a more conventional relationship and gets personally involved with Alex, only to have her break his heart.
Eat, Pray, Love 2010
Julia Roberts plays a New York City writer that takes a post-divorce year long trek to find herself in Italy, India and Bali. The film takes place in three separate segments where Liz indulges in the ultimate experience in each locale. In Italy she eats without abandon, in India she prays and gets in touch with her spiritual side, and finally true love finds her in Bali. She makes several new friends during her journey and meets a new man along the way. The plot may be a hit or miss, but the location shots featured will make you want to get online and book an excursion.
Mama Mia 2008
This musical created by the 70s musical group Abba plays out on the fictional Greek Island Kalokairi. The exterior shots of the movie were actually filmed on Skopelos and Skithos in the Greek Iles. The gorgeous backdrop is a pleasant distraction from the silly plot of a bride to be and her three potential fathers. One of the best moments in the film is when Meryl Streep sings, The Winner Takes It All, while her daughter’s wedding procession makes its way to a chapel at the top of a hill.
Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp star in this lighthearted tale of a single mother that opens a chocolatier during the time of lent. The rural village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, France is the setting. The small knit Catholic community has delicious temptation every day from the shop while the mayor (played by Alfred Molina) wages war against Vivane and her shop for the souls of the villagers.