A Little Romance and Scenery by Jenn Smith


Mixing Romance and Scenery

One of the things that captivates me most about travel is the sense of the unknown. You never know what new sight, smell, taste or experience is around the next corner. I find this to be especially true when traveling overseas. Perhaps it’s the ancient mystique or maybe it’s the views that can’t be found in the United States (not that the U.S. doesn’t boast some of the most magnificent vistas in the world), but everything just feels more romantic when I’m in Europe and beyond.

I think this is why so many movies are set overseas. Whether it is a period piece or a comedy, movie producers just love to set their romantic films in exotic destinations. As a viewer, I often enjoy the setting more than the story, being quickly swept away by the unique locales that I might only ever see on the silver screen. My three favorite getaway movies are:

Out of Africa

Out of Africa

Based on the same titled autobiography by Isak Dinesen (pseudonym Karen Blixen) and winner of seven Academy Awards, this movie’s amazing story, sweeping music and fantastic scenery will engage even the most callous of audiences. Set in the wilds of British claimed east African territory, you will see the colonization of rugged lands, journey on safari and ultimately wish you were walking in the waist-high grasses of Africa.

Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet

Who knew that in Verona, Italy, women write letters to Juliet Capulet (of Shakesperean Romeo and Juliet fame) and post them to a courtyard wall in hopes that their questions about romance and relationships will be answered by the real-life volunteers, Juliet’s secretaries, also known as the Juliet Club? But predictable romance aside, this movie is nothing but one view after another as a wayward trio tour Italy in search of a long-lost love. After watching this movie, I added Italy to my travel bucket list.

South Pacific

A scene from South Pacific

One of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most beloved classics, you can’t help but fall in love with the tropical paradise that sets the scene for this World War II romantic drama. While many of the aerial shots in the film are of Fiji and Bali, location shots were done in Ibiza (Balaeric Islands) and in Hawaii’s own Kauai. When the editing was complete, the movie became the essence of “Some Enchanted Evening.”




  1. As a side note, did you know that the Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse musical “Brigadoon” was originally slated to be filmed in Scotland but fell victim to studio budget cuts and thus was filmed in studio? Would the live setting have made “Brigadoon” one of the all-time great musicals? It definitely would have made my list!

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