It’s that time of the year where your big summer trip is so close you can almost taste it, but not close enough for you to start packing your suitcase just yet. In these times of anxiety and need, I often find myself watching movies that perfectly encapsulate the spirit of vacation, nature, being on the road, and generally having fun in a new place. Here are my 5 favorite movies that never fail to rekindle my wanderlust.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
As soon as I read about Ben Stiller directing The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I knew I would fall head over heels in love with this movie. It does help that I’m a huge sucker for James Thurber’s short stories (which the film was based on), but Ben Stiller’s movie adaptation takes you across the incredible mountains and volcanoes in Iceland, through Mongolian deserts, and all the way across the Himalayas. With its incredibly beautiful cinematography and Stiller’s moving performance, this movie doesn’t just envision Mitty’s spiritual journey; it will also make you hungry to start your own.
Thelma & Louise
I’m all for a movie with a huge badass bitch-factor. In Thelma & Louise, we witness the ultimate transformation of two young, nice women into two of the fiercest bitches this planet has ever known. Granted, their decision to start robbing banks might not have been the most intelligent one, but these two women do set a great example for all the strong-willed women out there. And of course, let’s not forget the incredible scenery in which this road movie takes place. That final scene in the Grand Canyon always gets to me.
Lost in Translation
Sofia Coppola is my hero and Scarlett Johansson is the subject of my ultimate lady boner. As opposed to your average travel movie that tends to glorify traveling and discovering new places, Lost in Translation deals with the atypical subject of being lost and scared in a city you don’t know. It’s a feeling I have only experienced on a few occasions, but it can be really fucking terrifying. Also, let’s not forget about the mind-blowing chemistry between Billy Crystal and Scar Jo’s characters.
Midnight in Paris
I kid you not: after seeing this movie for the first time a few years ago, my friend and I booked a trip to Paris that very same week. I believe that part of me expected to spontaneously run into Tom Hiddleston’s Fitzgerald (unfortunately, that did not happen). But watching Gil (Owen Wilson) lose himself in a 20th century Paris and interact with the greatest writers Europe has ever known will awaken in anyone the unforgiving urge to fly to Paris and walk along the Seine and have coffee in Café de Flore.
I discovered this movie when my friend and I were doing a Leo DiCaprio marathon day. (Yes, it’s a thing. You should try it.) Our expectations of this being a happy, tropical movie about living on a paradise island somewhere off the coast of Thailand were quickly undermined when Tilda Swindon’s evil masterplan is revealed. Still, Danny Boyle did an amazing job on those incredible pearly-white beaches and stark-blue oceans. If not, there’s still Leo’s pretty young face to look at.