Three Cool Travel Movies – Mamma Mia, Crouching Tiger, Eat Pray Love 27


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Mamma Mia, Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried

Meryl Streep and Amanda Seyfried in 'Mamma Mia' | Universal Pictures

I have so many travel-blogger friends that it’s high time I wrote a post about movies with cool travel destinations.

The thing is, I never travel anywhere. Once in a while, I might crowbar myself out of Traverse City and inch towards another part of Michigan, but other than that? Not a big traveler. And I don’t really crave it, either. I guess I’m just a homebody by nature.

Plus, we live in a gorgeous area surrounded by Great Lakes, so it’s not like we have to escape from here to go somewhere nicer. Sure, if we had unlimited funds, we’d probably do more traveling. Like maybe hit the Caribbean for a few weeks in the dead of winter or hang out at an Italian villa for a month or go whale-watching in Alaska.

But we’d have to have enough money to do it in style. I can go rugged if I have to, but wouldn’t do it by choice. So until I build my empire and become a millionaire, I’ll just travel vicariously through my travel-blogger buddies and visit the world via the movies.

I polled some friends, and we came up with a few movies that are awash in awesome travel locales. I know there are tons of others. I look forward to hearing about your favorites in the comments below.

1. ‘[amazon_link id=”B001GKJ2FW” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Mamma Mia[/amazon_link].’ Oh my Lord, this movie has some breathtaking scenery. I don’t use the term breathtaking lightly, but this movie is breathtaking. Amanda Seyfried stars as Sophie, a 20-year-old girl who lives on an idyllic Greek island with her mom, played by Meryl Streep.

But Sophie doesn’t know who her biological dad is, so unbeknownst to her mom, she invites three possible candidates to her wedding. It’s a sweet, romantic, funny movie set to the backdrop of ABBA songs, but the real star of this show is Skopelos, Greece, where much of it was filmed. The wedding scene takes place at stunning Agios Ioannis Chapel, which sits high atop a cliff with stairs winding up to it.

Mamma Mia, Agios Ioannis Chapel, Skopelos, Greece

The Agios Ioannis Chapel in Skopelos, Greece; scene of the wedding in 'Mamma Mia'

2. ‘[amazon_link id=”B00198X0UY” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon[/amazon_link].’ There’s something totally mesmerizing about this Ang Lee-directed film about two warriors in pursuit of a stolen sword and a physically-skilled nobleman’s daughter who’s at a crossroads in her life. It’s a combination of magical characters, amazing martial arts scenes choreographed by Woo-ping Yuen, and the shooting locations in China.

I know some people say this movie is corny and way-too-wired, but you can’t argue with four Oscars, another 73 wins, and 91 nominations. I love the fight scene where they’re sort of flying through the trees, which I believe was shot in the Anji bamboo forest in Jiangsu, China (but correct me if I’m wrong on that).

3. ‘[amazon_link id=”3833306874″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Eat Pray Love[/amazon_link].’ Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this movie took a lot of heat. People didn’t like Julia Roberts in the role, and they didn’t like the fact that Elizabeth Gilbert’s trip was reportedly funded by her book advance.

But look, you can’t deny that ‘Eat Pray Love’ is filled with beautiful locales, and Javier Bardem ain’t bad to look at, either. The story follows Gilbert’s journey to find herself after a painful divorce. Her road trip took her to Italy, India and Indonesia, and each of these spots is absolutely stunning. Hey, if someone paid me a big advance to go globe-trotting, I’d have no problem with it.

Tell me your favorite travel movies in the comments below.

Eat Pray Love, Julia Roberts and Javier Bardem

Julia Roberts finds love with Javier Bardem in Bali ... sigh ...

Check out these awesome travel blogs:

My Itchy Travel Feet, the Baby Boomer’s Guide to Travel, Donna Hull

J the Travel Authority, Jeanine Barone

A Traveler’s Library, Vera Marie Badertscher

Music Road, Kerry Dexter

Travel Sweeps, Barbara Benham


About Jane Boursaw

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more. Follow her on Twitter at @reellifejane.

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