Seven Vacation Movies Every Woman Should See
By Megan Angelo
March 16, 2013
Remember that slow-mo scene in Bridesmaids where they’re boarding the plane?
I bet, the first time you saw it, that you felt as I did: Ohhhh, man! Off to Vegas! Here. WE. GO. But one in-air, sob-inducing-funny Kristen Wiig scene later, we were grounded. And disabused of the notion that Bridesmaids was going to turn out to be a trip movie.
Not that our instincts were far off. Back when the movie came out, I wrote a story about it and learned from Annie Mumolo and Paul Feig that an entire Sin City-set chunk of the Bridesmaids script was deep-sixed because of Hangover similarities. There were, originally, going to be vacay antics aplenty. Most likely because Mumolo and Wiig knew what we all do: There are few setups better suited to comedy and character growth than a vacation.
Which is why these trip-centric films are a must-see for every woman–and I’m betting if you haven’t already stamped your movie-consumer passport with all seven of these titles, you’ve come close. Lucky for you, the weekend is here, the weather is rudely frigid, and these flicks will hold you over till your next girls’ getaway. (Whether the out-today, dark Spring Breakers will join this list of classics remains to be seen.)
The movie: Away We Go
That moment: I won’t spoil it for whomever hasn’t seen it yet, because it’s the very end–but those of you have know the sense of teary peace you got when Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski make their final road-trip stop.
What makes it a must-see: Most road-trip movies are about high jinks and BFF scrapes–but this one is all about a couple learning more about each other and where, as a pair, they fit into the world, both emotionally and geographically.
The movie: The Sweetest Thing
That moment: For all its grossness, I adore the park-bathroom scene and its consequent soaked-clothes rendition of “If You Like Pina Coladas.”
What makes it a must-see: Though only part of Sweetest is about a long drive, that whole sequence serves as a lesson in staying positive when things go wrong, which is 50 percent difficult with a buddy along for the ride.
The movie: Dirty Dancing
That moment: Um… EVERYTHING?
What makes it a must-see: When it comes to “the vacation that changed it all” stories, Dirty’s simply in a class of its own.
The movie: Beaches
That moment: When (sniff) Bette Midler brings Barbara Hershey home (sob) to the beach.
What makes it a must-see: Beaches isn’t a linear journey–it’s more about getaway memories than actually getting away. But no vacation memories are stronger than the ones you have from being a kid, and I’ve always loved the way this movie shows how boardwalk-kid times impacted the characters’ grown-woman selves.
The movie: Little Miss Sunshine
That moment: It’s a toss-up between chasing the van, stealing Grandpa’s body, and group-grooving at the competition.
What makes it a must-see: The reminder that having a handful of people in your life who would help you chase a crazy dream across the country (despite financial difficulties, emotional problems, and a bad transmission) is the definition of being lucky.
The movie: Spring Breakdown
That moment: Amy Poehler’s thirtysomething dorky dog trainer being adopted by superpopular college blonds including, yes, Kristin Cavallari.
What makes it a must-see: This movie is so underrated, especially since it’s maybe the best one I’ve ever seen about girlfriends road-testing new identities–and being able to forgive each other for all the lame posing afterward.
The movie: Vicky Cristina Barcelona
That moment: When Scarlett, having grown fully comfy shacking up with Javier, meets Penelope for the first time. Oh my God. Just watch it again, it’s so great.
What makes it a must-see: You feel like you’ve gone across the ocean and decided to make a high-stakes decision to act like a different person–without any of the real-life consequences.