Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Movies That Made Me Fall in Love with the US

Movie tourism has always been big business; just like visiting the streets of TV shows and the real life locations contained within the pages of your favourite book.     I previously wrote about how much my favourite crime books encouraged me to visit Norway and Sweden, and  my favourite movies are no different.  In fact, some of my favourite movies are not so much cherished because of the story, but entirely down to where they're set.   

The Movies That Made Me Fall In Love With the US - Big Business
They have little soaps in the shape of swans...could you die?

Big Business - Manhattan, New York 
My favourite movie ever starts in some backwater in the south and moves on to the glamorous and sophisticated Manhattan, where we follow the stories of two sets of identical twins who were mixed up at birth.    Much of the movie is set in Manhattan's Plaza Hotel, which is now managed by the Fairmont Group.   That has no relevance to this story, whatsoever, but I found it on the website.   Moving swiftly on... 

When I first visited New York, I had to see it for myself and ended up in The Plaza for, what turned out to be, a rather expensive Caesar Salad and bottle of beer.   Seriously: it was extortionate.    However, it's a memory I'll remember forever as I spent much of my time in the hotel lobby and restaurant, pretending I was Bette Midler, flouncing around, reciting lines from the movie and trying to buy polka dot dresses.     

The Plaza is an iconic New York building, located on the corner of Central Park South on Fifth Avenue.   If you haven't seen it, or Big Business, your life will never be complete.

The Movies That Made Me Fall In Love With the US - The Runaway Jury
No one really minded that gun company losing their money, anyway.   

The Runaway Jury - New Orleans, Louisiana:
I love this movie.   I love John Cusack IN this movie.   I love John Cusack in any movie, TBH, but that's hardly the point I'm trying to make.   The movie adaptation of the fabulous John Grisham legal thriller is set in New Orleans and the location is what keep me coming back to to watch it time after time.   

From the first morning we see JC being monitored on his way down the street, stopping for take out coffee and a beignet, I knew I had to visit.  Fast forward about 15 years and boom, I was right there.    

From wandering along endlessly beautiful streets with their fabulous facades, front porches, the wonderful independent stores and the grand old city squares, all captured in the afternoon sunshine, it's impossible not to love NOLA.    The fact that you can also totally get a jury verdict to go the way you want it while annoying the life out of Gene Hackman just makes it all the more attractive, right?

The Movies That Made Me Fall In Love With the US - Bad Boys
Miami has plenty of dark, secluded posts to carry out your 'business'.   Also:  beautiful buildings and friendly natives. 

Bad Boys - Miami, Florida:
Between the sultry heat, the art deco buildings of South Beach, and the presence of so many massive drug deals, Miami is a must-see destination. I jest, of course, drug deals are bad, folks.   

It's the party atmosphere and heritage that makes Miami a stand out place.    It's a real melting pot of American, Cuban, Jewish, and many other cultures and traditions.   Depending on where you are in the city, there are so many experiences to be had from all over the globe.    

Bad Boys was the movie that showed me the city streets and the fabulous Biltmore Hotel, which Tea Leoni casually jumps off the top of in order to get away from bad men weeding guns.  Well, you would, wouldn't you?    Probably don't try that if you go, though.    Chances are you won't fare quite as well as she did.   

The Biltmore is located in the Coral Gables area of the city and is a designated historic landmark.   The architecture is outstanding and is of beautiful Spanish Revival design.    It just fits in completely with the surrounds and towers majestically over the street.   

The Movies That Made Me Fall In Love With the US - The Fugitive
Who doesn't want to hide out here?   
The Fugitive - Chicago, Illinois:
This is the movie that made me want to bust out of jail, go on the run and be hunted down by Tommy Lee Jones for a crime I didn't commit.  I mean, I don't even HAVE a wife, so it's clearly all been a mix up.   

Chicago looks great throughout the film, with scenes shot from the air over the massive city skyline to demonstrate just how easy it is to get lost in the streets.   Also:  some totally dodgy neighbourhoods and the meanest one armed man since Abu Hamza.    Don't let that detract from the city, though.    

From taking a ride on the El, breaking into Cook Country Hospital to clean the blinds in the prosthetic department, to running through a group of pigeons on Daley Plaza Picasso: Chicago has it all.   Who doesn't dream of doing these things on holiday?  I know I do.  

Just be sure to avoid jumping off that waterfall, won't you?   Thanks.    


Have any of your favourite movies inspired you travel destinations?


Suzanne x