#Movies & TV
The Top 7 Romantic Comedies with an Important Change of Scenery
by Jennifer Lafferty
Romantic comedies often work best on the road, taking characters out of their comfort zones and putting them in exotic locales. Whether the change in scenery enables the characters to get out of their own way, as in The Holiday and Sweet Home Alabama, or gives them a whole new lease on life, such as in Under the Tuscan Sun, it’s always fun to see where the journey takes them. Here are seven of our favorite romantic comedies with a change of scenery.
Sometimes all you need to find love is to get out of your comfort zone, at least according to many romantic comedies. The idea that a little vacation will do the heart good is not an uncommon one and has been documented in love stories throughout time, but it still holds up. Rom coms that get their main characters out into the world are some of the most compelling, so we’ve selected seven of our favorites. Movie night anyone?
1. Under the Tuscan Sun
Sometimes a film’s setting is so important it’s like another character, which is definitely the case with romantic comedy/drama Under the Tuscan Sun. Starring Diane Lane as a disillusioned divorcée, this film tells the story of one woman who finds passion, inspiration, and beauty while on vacation in enchanting Tuscany.
2. The Holiday
This star-studded film features parallel story lines involving two brokenhearted but very different women who impulsively decide to swap homes over Christmas. This gives lonely British journalist Iris (Kate Winslet) a glamorous vacation in Los Angeles and career-driven movie-trailer producer Amanda (Cameron Diaz) a retreat in the London countryside. Both characters find a potential Prince Charming and benefit from some much needed self-discovery.
3. Sweet Home Alabama
The story line for this Reese Witherspoon hit about Melanie, a successful New York–based fashion designer who goes home to convince her estranged husband to divorce her so she can marry her new fiancé, may sound like a typical chick flick, but the movie offers many intriguing twists. The film is wacky and farcical in the beginning but takes a turn for the dramatic after Melanie’s soon-to-be-ex Jake (Josh Lucas) proves to be full of surprises.
4. The Rewrite
Most change-of-scenery romantic comedies are set in picturesque locales. The recent Hugh Grant-Marisa Tomei release is an exception to the rule. Set instead in a small, rainy upstate New York university town, the film follows Grant’s character, a down-on-his-luck Hollywood screenwriter, after he reluctantly agrees to teach a screenwriting course. Despite his initial resistance, the character unexpectedly finds love and an exciting new purpose.
5. Just Go With It
This updated remake of the classic film Cactus Flower follows womanizing plastic surgeon Danny (Adam Sandler), who decides to settle down with a beautiful girl half his age. Danny’s nurse, mature single mom Katherine (Jennifer Aniston), who’s clearly better suited for him, poses as his estranged wife during a trip to Hawaii. In addition to offering luscious scenery, the location also provides the perfect backdrop for some inventive comedy.
6. The Proposal
One of the most dramatic examples of a character being transformed by a new environment is in this romantic farce. Sandra Bullock’s character Margaret, a hated book editor, travels to Alaska with her assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) to visit his family, after coercing him into an engagement so she won’t be deported back to Canada. Reality soon imitates fiction as the two become romantically involved and, better yet, Margaret turns into a good person.
7. Eat Pray Love
This is another change-of-scenery movie that deals with self-discovery but on a much larger scale. The plot centers on Liz (Julia Roberts), a newly divorced woman who finds herself at a crossroads in life and sets out to “find herself” in an ambitious round-the-world journey, during which she explores a variety of cultures and philosophies.
Do you agree with our list? What transformative rom coms did we miss?