The Best of Vacation Movies

As I write this, it’s a hot and rainy day in Los Angeles and I’m wishing I could get away. Alas, this is not to be. But just because you can’t get away doesn’t mean you can’t watch vacation movies. And in some cases, a holiday can go terribly awry – just ask Dickie Greenleaf. Oh, wait. You can’t because he’s totally dead! So don’t be blue you can’t get away – you could up end up lost, shot or dead like some of the following folks.

Here are some of the best vacation movies around – sit back, relax and enjoy the mayhem:

The Talented Mr. Ripley

Despite the fact that in the book, Gwyneth‘s character, Marge, is more of a frump-a-dump and less of a beautiful blonde goddess, this is a great summer holiday romp. Filled with lies, murder, mayhem on the Riviera what’s not to like? Sure, it’s not the ideal trip for Jude Law‘s Dickie, but Matt Damon‘s Mr. Ripley has a heck of ripping time! If you wish you could hang with rich people in Italy, this is the film for you.

Vicky Cristina Barcelona

If getting weird in Spain is more something you’re looking for but you’re too skint and prudish to get there, look no further! Experience the passion of Barcelona without getting off your couch with Penelope, Scarlett, Javier, and Rebecca. You’ll be rewarded with romance and so much Gaudi it’ll be comin’ out your bohemian butts.

Sleepaway Camp

And now for something completely different. If you never went to camp and wish you had, watch this ridiculous and disturbing ‘80s horror movie and all will be cured! Camp doesn’t count as a holiday when it’s all creepiness and murder. All I really want to say about this one is stick around til the end for possibly the shock of you life. At least your cinematic viewing life. Also, Bruce Springsteen’s sister is in this. So. Support the Springsteens.

Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation

If you want to vacation all the way back to your childhood, join the Tiny Toons. I think I watched this cartoon once a week as a kid and because of it say things like, “Well, skin me alive and call me luggage!” Which you don’t realize is super weird to say as a child, and is still super weird as an adult. One of the story lines is that Plucky just wants to get to Happy World Land and goes on the road trip from hell with Hamton and his family. They pick up an escaped convict – wholesome family fun! The movie is resolved by the characters falling down a literal plot hole. What I vaguely remember about this movie merits a re-watching.


Okay, so I don’t actually like this movie. But I know a lot of people do. And as a native Californian, I’m always proud of my state being so pretty and plentiful of wine. So if you’re feeling a bit more mature and love hating Merlot and discussing Pinot and want to see the beauty that is the Santa Ynez Valley in California, check it out. What I mainly got from this movie is the joy of going to bars and loudly demanding glasses of “PEE-NO!” And the desire to go wine-tasting  And also not to ever get hit in the face with a motorcycle helmet.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

The ultimate vacation movie. I just learned it was written by John Hughes. So that accounts for a lot of it’s amazing attributes. It’s got everything: crappy cars, getting lost, attempted seduction, death – both pet and person, creeps, Wally World, sanity being pushed to the brink, and Randy Quaid. Watch this and be glad you stayed home.

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