Movies are a way to escape. So what better way to satisfy your travel cravings than to watch a movie set in foreign country?
Here is a list of my top 10 favourite movies that take place in Europe.
10.) Eat, Pray, Love
First of all I suggest if you haven’t read the book to do that first. The movie doesn’t do justice to the deeper concept of the book, but visually the movie offers some serious eye-candy. The movie takes place in three different locations :Eat (in Rome), Pray (in India) and Love (in Bali). Although the whole movie doesn’t take place in Europe, the scenes filmed in Italy are visually stimulating and a pleasure to watch (especially all the scenes involving italian food!).
9.) Moulin Rouge
In typical Baz Luhrmann fashion, he delivers a theatrical version of 1900 Paris during the Bohemian movement of Montmartre. The lead character ( played by Ewan McGregor) is a struggling writer who interacts with the likes of Toulouse Lautrec and the star courtesan of the famous Moulin Rouge (Nicole Kidman). If you are a fan of anything Paris, especially during the early 20th century- you will enjoy this film ( keep in mind it is a musical and there is a ton of singing!).
Any movie that involves chocolate in France is fine by me. This movie is about a woman (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter who open up a chocolate shop in a small village in France. They are not welcomed at first due to the towns conservative attitude, but over time the shop starts to change their lives. The movie also stars Johnny Depp, which is the icing on the cake of this delightful little film.
7.) Love is All you need
From what I know, this Danish film didn’t fully make it over to North America, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It stars Pierce Bronsman ( still looking great for his age) and Trine Dyrholm (a Danish actress/singer). It takes place in both Denmark and Italy and it is a refreshing take on the typical romantic comedy. It really is a charming film and I suggest adding it your list of movies to watch.
6.) Under the Tuscan Sun
For anyone who has ever thought about giving up everything and moving to a foreign country without a real plan or idea what they are doing.. this movie is for you. After a horrible divorce, the main character ( Diane Lane) sells her house and all her belongings to live in an old, rundown house in Tuscany. Along the way she is faced with the challenges having to do with adjusting to a new culture, as well as the challenges she faces within herself. The movie portrays Tuscany gorgeously and will inspire you to visit the italian city too one day.
5.) Sound of Music
Okay- call me bias but this movie is one of my all time favourites. First of all it takes place in Salzburg, Austria ( one of my favourite cities to visit), second of all it stars Julie Andrews ( who doesn’t love Julie Andrews?), and lastly it has an award winning soundtrack. The movie was so famous that to this day they run official “Sound of Music”Tours where you can see all the places the movie was filmed.
4.) Vicky Christina Barcelona
This movie takes place in Barcelona, and it does a good job of capturing the culture and energy of this lively city. Directed by Woody Allen and staring Scarlet Johansson, Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, the film follows two girls who spend the summer in Barcelona. Eventually they both become enamoured with the same spanish painter, not knowing his tumultuous ex-wife is soon to return to the picture.
3.) Midnight in Paris
Who doesn’t love Paris? This is another visually stimulating film that showcases the beauty of the french city. It stars Owen Wilson as he wanders the streets of Paris at night and highlights the idea of longing for a time gone by. During his late night walks he is transported back to 1920’s, where he meets some of the great thinkers- inspiring his own work as a writer.
2.) Notting Hill
London is a city filled with places to see and explore- Notting hill being one of these places. This movie showcases the culture of the district, including Portobello Market, and the brightly coloured painted houses. It has a mainly british cast, including Hugh Grant ( as well as the american Julia Roberts- who basically plays herself) so if you are a fan of british humour you will definitely appreciate this film. Although it is a romantic comedy, for those interested in London, especially Notting hill, this is a movie for you.
1.) Before Sunrise
Last but no least, is one of my favourite movies ‘Before Sunrise’. This film stars Ethan Hawke and Julie Deply and takes place in Vienna, Austria during the 90’s. This film is an experience all in its own- its set among the backdrop of Vienna at night with the main characters simply talking the whole time. Their chemistry and topic of conversation keeps you intrigued and Vienna almost acts as the third character of the film. There are not many films that showcase the beauty of Vienna other than this one and that is why it tops my list of ‘top films set in Europe’.
*If you enjoy this film it is the first in a series of three films also showcasing European destinations ( ‘Before Sunset’ in Paris, and ‘Before midnight’ in Greece).