European Travel Movies, 2010 Edition
Have you noticed that each year, a fresh crop of European romantic comedies attempts to lure us to the theaters? Whether it's Mandy Moore Chasing Liberty in Prague, or Ethan Hawke metaphysically disrobing Julie Delpy Before Sunrise in Vienna, or even Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck taking a Roman Holiday, all these flicks have one thing in common -- silly Americans crashing headfirst into "foreign" European customs, and ultimately finding true love amidst the confusion.
This January two more films join the hallowed ranks of the European RomCom. In Leap Year, cutie pie Amy Adams hightails it to Dublin to propose to her stuffy boyfriend (per Irish lore, a thing proper ladies can only do on February 29). Of course, she gets waylaid by a handsome Welshman who turns out to be "the one."
When in Rome stars Kristen Bell as another perky American who goes splashing around the purported "Fountain of Love" in Rome in order to change her bad romance mojo. Things go haywire when a bevy of misfits falls for her while handsome Josh Duhamel smolders on the bleachers. He turns out to be "the one" as well. Natch.
The story lines of these movies are about as surprising as finding pulp in your OJ. But that's not the point. What keeps us glued to the screen in these formulaic tales is the luxurious European scenery. Whether the rolling Welsh countryside, the Roman forum, or the Maria am Gestade church in Vienna, the settings are the real stars (except in Roman Holiday -- Audrey owns that one).
What are some of your favorite European films? Tell us in comments.