Tourism boards advertise via various media, nowadays they even include social networking sites. But sometimes a movie can promote a place like nothing can.
10 movies which made me want to pack my bags:
1. A Good Year - Directed by Ridley Scott, this adaptation of Peter Mayle's best-selling novel is the story of a London-based trader Max Skinner (Russell Crowe) who goes to Provence in the south of France to check out the vineyard estate that he has suddenly inherited from his uncle. Need I say more?
2. Brokeback Mountain - Based on a short story by Pulitzer Prize winner E. Annie Proulx, this movie is about the intense relationship between Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger). But I will always remember the movie for its stunning cinematography. The film was filmed in Alberta, Canada and not Wyoming as the story suggests. I had a hard time not booking a flight to Alberta after the movie ended.
3. The Holiday - Writer-director Nancy Meyers shows glimpses of Los Angeles and London as the protagonists Amanda (Cameron Diaz) and Iris (Kate Winslet) swap homes, each unique to the characters they are playing. Always made me want to go for a rental instead of a hotel.
4. A Perfect Getaway - Hawaii never looked more enticing, not even on it's most expensive advertising campaign. Throw in Milla Jovovich, an edge-of-the-cliff hike, the blue-green ocean and a pair of shady characters - you have a winner. And yes, she does kick some serious ass but less than usual.
5. The Bridges of Madison County - The beauty of the American midwest, a National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid played by Clint Eastwood and Meryl Street as the not-so-happy Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson come together to present a moving story filmed against a powerful backdrop.
6. Into the Wild - These verses right at the beginning of the movie summed it up for me
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more.
- Lord Byron
7. Under the Tuscan Sun - If this movie does not make you book a flight to Italy, nothing much will. Newly-divorced American writer Frances (Diane Lane) quits her job and goes to Tuscany where she buys a house on a sudden impulse. What follows is a picture postcard tour of romancing Italy.
8. Up in the Air - One of my favorite movies, this one simply inspires you to keep moving. That's it. George Clooney and Vera Farmiga make a perfect pair - traveling for work never looked this sexy.
9. Nights in Rodanthe - The film's underlying sense of tragedy is overcome by the beauty of coastal North Carolina. Based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks, Diane Lane and Richard Gere are as much as a treat for the eyes as the soothing landscape. The scene with the wild horses is something which reminds me of Assateague Island.
10. Autumn in New York - Another tear-jerker starring Mr Gere, this movie has steam coming out from the street vents. Yes, very New York. Travel tip - Autumn is when North-eastern America is all ablaze with colors. A must-see for anyone who visits.
The movies are in no particular order and of course, there maybe many more that I have missed. Going by my list, one thing is for sure, you always don't have to go to Europe or some exotic island for that perfect holiday. As my trips have taught me, North America is much more than New York and San Francisco...and it's all out there waiting to be explored.