Traveling through: Films that take us to new places

Movies become ads for tourism when they feature wonderful characters surrounded by vibrant, breathtaking scenery. Australia’s Ministry for Tourism knows it’s true, and they’re banking on Nicole Kidman‘s forthcoming epic Australia to be the centerpiece of their global marketing campaign in the next year. I’m afflicted with wanderlust in the worst way, so I know Nicole Kidman’s film will send me searching for plane tickets to Oz.

Show me a movie with a beautiful woman in a gorgeous place, and I’m trolling Expedia like it’s my job.

Meryl Streep and I went to Greece via Mama Mia just last weekend. Yes, the movie was a hot mess, but Streep was as charming as ever. The two us ran along the beach and sang ABBA, with the waves crashing all around us. I have also been to east Africa with Meryl Streep in Out of Africa. Of course, if that danged Robert Redford hadn’t shown up, we probably would have had a better time.

Tuscany was a little tougher for me. Yes, it is the artistic centerpiece of Italy and all that, but I was so torn between Diane Lane and Sandra Oh in Under the Tuscan Sun that I hardly had time to enjoy the wine. Diane Lane was a writer, which is dead sexy. But Sandra Oh was gorgeous and infected with a biting wit. Sandra was already a lesbian, but Diane wasn’t pregnant. I flip back and forth between the two women every time I watch the movie, but never do I fall out of love with Tuscany.

This weekend I’ll be traveling back to Greece with The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and here lies a huge dilemma: The actress that I love the most out of the group is the underrated Amber Tamblyn, but America Ferrera is a close second. I’m having a hard time getting past Blake Lively‘s Serena Van der Woodsen, and I’m not sure Alexis Bledel will ever be anything more to me than Rory Gilmore. (Rory, have your mom call me!) I guess we’ll deal with who to love once we’re on the shores of Greece. There are worse places to sort out a love, um, pentagon.

Are there any movies (or women) that have inspired you to travel? Do you want to go to France with Meg Ryan in French Kiss? To New Zealand with Liv Tyler in Lord of the Rings? New York City with Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s or with her to Rome in Roman Holiday? Or, oh, how about out into the sea on The Black Pearl with Keira Knightley in Pirates of the Caribbean? I’d go down with that ship any day of the year.

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