Mid-February: the new semester is in full swing and the workload is beginning to take its toll. The question on everyone’s mind is ‘Will it ever stop raining?’. Food supplies are low and the Easter holidays have never felt so far away. Only a holiday could lift spirits; but a trip to Ocean Village is the only realistic destination you could afford right now. Am I right?
Don’t worry, it isn’t all doom and gloom. In the following 6 films, the central characters are the cities that provide the backdrop for the drama, and are guaranteed to make you not only fall in love with them; but provide the escapism you so very desperately need…
1.) Venice (The Tourist, 2010)
This travel romance starring Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp is sure to ignite your own love affair with Venice. The glamour of the hotel and boat scenes combined with the mystery and drama of the plot (and landscape) make the city irresistible. The film, also, treats the viewer to shots of Paris early on; which affirms that The Tourist needs to be at the top of everyone’s ‘to watch’ list and equally Venice at the top of any travel bucket list.
2.) Florence (A Room with a View, 1985)
Florence provides the perfect backdrop for this story of love and scandal. The beautiful Tuscan countryside, stunning Renaissance architecture and passion of the Italian people are in sharp contrast with the restrictive nature of Edwardian England. This combined with shots of the Arno river, Duomo and maze of streets will have you booking your own hotel room with a view…
3.) London (Notting Hill, 1999 and Love Actually, 2003)
Fall in love with the London of Colin Firth, Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson, just to mention a few of the names from both of these star-studded films. Notting Hill and Love Actually romanticize London to the extent that you find yourself wanting to live in the capital rather than just visit. Featured in Notting Hill are the Portobello Road, the Ritz, and the Savoy. Love Actually features Trafalgar Square, Somerset House, the Millennium Bridge, Selfridges, Heathrow Airport and of course Downing Street. A London with Hugh Grant as Prime Minister; what’s not to love?
4.) Salzburg, Austria (The Sound of Music, 1965)
This childhood favourite is guaranteed to make you fall in love with both the city of Salzburg and Austria. Lose yourself in the film’s music, idyllic scenery and love story; which is just as much a story of love for Austria as it is between the protagonists. Filming took place on location and featured the Frohnburg Palace and Schloss Leopoldskron as the exteriors of the von Trapp family’s villa. The Sound of Music will inspire an Alpine adventure and if not at the very least a good sing-song.
5.) Edinburgh (One Day, 2011)
David Nicholls’ 2009 best seller was made into a film in 2011 and the film starts in the same place as the book, in Edinburgh, where Emma and Dexter first meet at university. Edinburgh provides the perfect backdrop for Emma and Dexter’s story of love and friendship and the film encourages you to explore the street’s recognisable architecture and maybe even climb Arthur’s Seat…
6.) Los Angeles (Romeo and Juliet, 1996)
In Baz Luhrmann’s modern adaption of Shakespeare’s tragic love story, the fictional Verona Beach and surrounding areas take their inspiration from Los Angeles. The heat and crime-ridden nature of the fast-paced city only add to the tension of the plot. The artificial and dramatic landscape couldn’t be any more different from Verona, the traditional, romantic backdrop for the play; but if you’re looking for beaches and skyscrapers (& Leonardo di Caprio) instead of balconies and town squares this film (and city) could be for you…