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10 movies to watch while you’re stuck at home – to make you feel a million miles away

In the midst of quarantine/self-isolation, it’s easy to get a bit of the ol’ cabin fever, especially when you haven’t seen another person in a while. One thing I particularly am craving is travel. While overseas travel or even a simple weekend away seems unlikely for a long time, thankfully there are a bunch of movies out there that will satisfy that craving for even just a couple of hours, and help you to see the world from the comfort of your own couch.

Yes, there are hundreds of them – but here’s 10 of my favourites that can help you escape reality for a few hours – in the form of whatever holiday you desire!

Roadtrip

David Lynch’s “The Straight Story” (1999) is a roadtrip with a difference – based on a true story, it sees Alvin (Richard Farnsworth), an elderly WWII veteran, on a 240 mile (390 km) journey from Laurens, Iowa to Mount Zion, Wisconsin – all on a ride-on lawnmower. His mission is to see his ailing brother after he suffers a stroke.

Where to watch: SBS On Demand.

Hiking

If outdoor exercise is your jam, and seeing some scenery while you’re at it appeals to you, then you really can’t miss “Into the Wild”. It’s directed by Sean Penn and stars Emile Hirsch as Christopher McCandless, a man who hiked across North America into the Alaskan wilderness in the early 1990s. There’s plenty of adventure, and reflection!

Where to watch: Netflix

Beach Holiday

Don’t just enjoy being on a long weekend at the beach with them, but also enjoy the comedy of “Weekend at Bernie’s” (1989)! A true classic, the film stars Andrew McCarthy and Jonathan Silverman as young insurance corporation employees who discover that their boss, Bernie, is dead. While at the boss’s house on Long Island, they continue to pretend as though Bernie is still alive – and hilarity ensues. Ted Kotcheff directs.

Where to watch: Apple iTunes

Camping

OK so we all know the movies that may turn you off camping, but how about one that will make you appreciate the great outdoors? For a good laugh, switch on “Meatballs” (1979) for some of Bill Murray’s best. Directed by Ivan Reitman, Murray plays Tripper Harrison, a head counsellor at a summer camp. Tripper befriend’s Rudy (Chris Makepeace), an 11-year old with low self-esteem, and of course there is plenty of other camp hi-jinx to keep you laughing.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Round-the-World Trip

OK it’s super generic and cheesy, but everyone needs to see “The Bucket List” (2007). When you’re faced with your own mortality, what do you do? You travel the world and tick off those things that you simply ‘must do’ before you ‘kick the bucket’. Directed by Rob Reiner, “The Bucket List” stars Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.

Where to watch: Netflix, Foxtel Now

European Vision

It’s a little bit of a change of pace, but Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch A Thief” (1955) hits the French Riviera for this romantic thriller slash crime caper. Cary Grant and Grace Kelly hit Monaco, Nice and Cannes, with Grant – a retired cat burglar – trying to save his reformed reputation by catching an imposter preying on the wealthy tourists.

Where to watch: Amazon Prime

Australian Outback

Again, a category that could be filled with “dumb ways to get killed”, but I’m all about selling what the world has to offer – so let’s go with “The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” (1994). The film, directed by Stephan Elliott, follows two drag queens (Hugo Weaving and Guy Pearce) and a transgender woman (Terence Stamp), as they journey across the Australian Outback from Sydney to Alice Springs in a tour bus that they have named “Priscilla”. Apart from the hilarity that ensues from the different characters they come across, the Australian Outback is truly on show, and not one backpacker murderer in sight!

Where to watch: Foxtel Now

Picture-Perfect Scenery

So it’s a bit of a strange movie, but “The Beach” (2000), starring Leonardo DiCaprio features some gorgeous scenery from Thailand. While it may not have the greatest reviews, the stunning blue water in the hidden beach and lagoon of the Gulf of Thailand will have to planning your getaway as you dream of exiting your front door. Directed by Danny Boyle.

Where to watch: Google Play, Apple iTunes

Thrill Seeking

If you’re a slave to the cube-farm life, the desire to trade that for a magical journey around the world is something I’m fairly sure we’ve all dreamt of at least once in our lives. “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013) sees a man (Ben Stiller, who also directed) living that same mundane lifestyle, and dreaming of adventure. As you can’t currently leave your house, how about indulging in Walter Mitty’s world for a couple of hours and enjoying the beautiful places he sets off to, seeking adventure.

Where to watch: Apple iTunes, Google Play

Family Vacation

Can you really utter the phrase “Family Vacation” and not think of the Griswalds?! There’s a whole series to get through if you’re really keen, including the seasonal variety (honestly I could fill every category here with a Griswald movie), but you really have to go back to the original and start with “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983). The film stars Chevy Chase in his – dare I say – best days, and has Harold Ramis at the helm. The Griswald family set out for Wally’s World, an amusement park in California, from their Chicago home. With two young kids and his wife (Beverly D’Angelo) all in the same car, the trip was bound to never be boring. This one is a must see!

Where to watch: Foxtel Now

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