We love to watch movies together as a family. As we prepared for our trips to Europe and then our cross-country US summer trip, we started pulling together a list of movies that were regional. They inspired us to be excited about the locations we would visit, and in some cases even motivate us to find specific landmarks. I asked Cole to put this list together for all of you, including his thoughts on the family favorites. Here’s his take!
Get Ready for Travel by Watching These Movies!
Before you go on family trip we recommend getting yourself amped up even more by watching movies about the places you are thinking of visiting. We prepared for both our Europe and U.S. trips with movies about those locations. We made a list based on what my parents could remember, or what the internet recommended. For months we’ve been working through as much as we could. These are our recommendations; we’d love to hear from you about what you recommend!
This is the list that guided us through our adventure through Europe
- Griswold’s European Vacation
The Griswolds are at it again and are destroying everything along the way. Parental note: this is more racy than we remembered!
- Monte Carlo
Wesley especially loved this one, we had to repeatedly explain we wouldn’t see the exact statue shown at the end – that it was fiction based on a real event!
- The DaVinci Code
- Clash of the Titans (original)
- Italian Job
As someone who loves crime mysteries, this is one of my favorites on the list!
- Ever After
- Bend it like Beckham
- James Bond
- Harry Potter
Harry potter is an orphan that goes to school for wizards and discovers the truth about his real parents. (Side note) my parents are crazy about the series because they listened to the audio books while dating. It was good to revisit (even though Deathly Hollows Part 2 is the only movie I genuinely like) because we went to the Warner Brothers’ Studio Tour in London.
- Wonder Woman
- Almost Royal
- Great British Bake-Off
While neither Almost Royal or GBBO are movies, they are fun shows you can watch single episodes to get a feel for the culture, accents, and weird English phrases.
All of those movies are either filmed in or reference European countries and cities. They will allow you to see and talk about a a lot of the landmarks together.
We also watched movies to get ready for our US cross-country road trip as well.
US Movies by Regions
RV is a movie about a family doing a road trip to reconnect with each other, but nothing seems to go to plan. We relate!
- Little Miss Sunshine
- Back to the Future
A family favorite, Marty McFly goes through time because of the experiment from Doc Brown’s DeLorean time machine. He travels through the US in the series, and meets his younger versions of his parents.
- Rat Race
Our family has watched this movie so many times, and it never gets less funny. In fact, every time we pass a funny looking road-side stand we make jokes about squirrels for sale. You’ll have to watch to see what we mean!
This is a movies that started filming in 2001 and stopped filming in 2013 using all the same actors and actresses for the entirety of the movie. It takes place throughout Texas including Dallas and Austin.
- 10 Things I Hate About You
This movie is a modern take of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew” where you can see things like Gas Works park and Fremont troll. I was surprised how good this movie was, considering it seemed like a romance in the previews. It was cool to see the Joker in his younger days.
- 10 Things I Hate About You
- Home Alone
This is such a family classic must-see!
- While you Were Sleeping
- The Fugitive
- Uncle Buck
- Save the Last Dance
This movie is about a girl that loved doing ballet until her mother got into a car accident rushing to see her. She moves to Chicago and explores a new style of dance that’s pretty cool. This is another one my mom wanted to watch we weren’t all too sure about, but ended up actually liking it.
- Home Alone
There have been a LOT of movies filmed in our hometown area of Northern Virginia and DC, these are some of our favorites.
- Remember the Titans
- Evan Almighty
- What About Bob
This was filmed at our family’s favorite vacation town, Smith Mountain Lake. We’ve actually boated by this house several times!
- Hidden Figures
Hidden Figures is a movie about three “colored computers” (black women who are great at math) that worked on the Apollo Mission and the difficulties that they faced trying to get recognition for the work they did.
- On the basis of sex
- State of the Union
- Independence Day
- Olympus Has Fallen
- Live Free or Die Hard
- Legally Blonde 2
- National Treasure
In National Treasure a family has been chasing a hidden treasure that the founding fathers had hidden back in the American Revolution to distract the redcoats by sending them to find clues leading to immeasurable amounts of wealth.
If you’re planning a trip, we hope you’ll report back on what movies you enjoyed or helped you prepare!