5 feel-good escapist movies for the ultimate staycation
Everyone can agree, 2020 has been a crazy year! To cap off the madness most people are going to Romania (say it slowly) for the year-end holiday.
We’ve got a winning concept for you that will kickstart your next globe-trotting or jet-setting adventure without lifting a finger! Okay, you may need to lift a finger to press play or pop corn in the microwave but leave the travel itinerary to us.
To help arrange your staycation, check out our list of film destinations now streaming!
Vir Altyd (Mauritius) – Showmax
Fancy a tropical island getaway or second honeymoon? Mauritius is just a few clicks away. Soak up the sights and sounds of sunny Mauritius as you journey with newlyweds Nina and Hugo. From colour festivals and crystal-clear water to poolside loungers, the setting of this upbeat romantic comedy drama has a healthy dose of Vitamin D-enriched fun in the sun.
Starring South Africa’s version of Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, Ivan Botha and DonnaLee Roberts, it was love at first sight with Pad Na Jou Hart (which you can stream on DStv). In this delightful and uplifting follow-up, the lovebirds take their good chemistry and whirlwind romance to the magical island nation of Mauritius. Celebrating life through the highs and lows of love and marriage, this sparkling island adventure will immerse you in a sun-dappled, heartfelt and pure escape.
IMDB rating: 6.1/10
Crazy Rich Asians (Singapore) – Showmax
Singapore is one of the most fascinating and hyper-modern cities on the planet, with sleek architecture and gleaming skylines. It’s also one of the cleanest cities in the world thanks to strict rules relating to litter and spitting. Singapore’s known for its restaurants, bars, gardens and infinity pools, which makes it the perfect playground for smash-hit romantic comedy Crazy Rich Asians. The story follows an NYU professor who travels to Singapore from New York City with her boyfriend only to discover he’s crazy-rich and the most eligible bachelor in Asia.
Starring Constance Wu, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh and Awkwafina, this colourful and surreal film is based on the international bestseller of the same name. It’s refreshing for its destination and cultural shift in terms of casting and female-centric approach. Adhering to the genre’s conventions and playing like an 80s American dream throwback with wealthy tycoons and lavish parties, it’s a blast of flashy bubblegum fun with an Asian twist!
IMDB rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91%
The Holiday (Los Angeles/Surrey) – Netflix
If you’re wanting an extended staycation, you’ll want to save The Holiday for Christmas viewing. Agreeing on a house-swap vacation, a successful movie-trailer producer and a newspaper columnist trade homes (and lives) for a change of scenery. Starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, this heartfelt and enduring romantic comedy has become a traditional favourite, whether you’re enjoying a snow-globe Christmas in Surrey or the warmer climes of Hollywood.
Funny, charming and laden with heartwarming moments, it’s the perfect mix of mush and slush to get the chestnuts roasting… whatever that means. With the handsome Jude Law and quirky Jack Black, this vicarious holiday works for the characters and audience. Get whisked away on a cross-Atlantic escape that will help you appreciate the big dreams and mansions of LA and the simple pleasures of family and home hearths in rural Surrey.
IMDB rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 50%
Mr Bean’s Holiday (France) – Netflix
France is renowned for its style, wine, gourmet food, romance and famous landmarks such as The Louvre and Eiffel Tower. An iconic travel destination, it’s also a popular setting for sequels such as Mr Bean’s Holiday. Love him or hate him, Mr Bean’s one of the most recognisable comedy acts ever. Using language sparingly, Rowan Atkinson’s unmistakable rubber face and the character’s pesky and foolish nature have made him difficult to ignore. His misadventures have always been linked with England but Mr Bean’s playground goes international when it comes to movies.
From noisily cracking lobster claws to outracing Tour de France cyclists, this delightful sequel is Mr Bean at his slapstick best, simultaneously lampooning and immersing himself in French culture. It’s a strange yet affectionate love letter to all things French as one of Britain’s top exports tries his best to fit in. The “silent movie” comedy act based on Jacques Tati may not appeal to everyone, but those who love Bean’s man-child silliness will find the mix both subtle and hilarious.
IMDB rating: 6.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 52%
50 First Dates (Hawaii) – Netflix
Hawaii is the epitome of island paradise holidays. Synonymous with surfing, hula girls, leis and ukuleles, it’s perfect for the laid-back, slapstick and feel-good everyman comedy of Adam Sandler. The crowd-pleasing antics of Sandler and his immeasurable talent built a comedy empire. He and Drew Barrymore became instant Hollywood darlings after The Wedding Singer. Recapturing some of this magical on-screen chemistry, they co-star in 50 First Dates, a romantic comedy about a hopeless romantic who tries to win the heart of a woman suffering from short-term memory loss.
Essentially a Groundhog Day romance, this campy, sunny and vibrant underdog movie has an infectious spirit. From wacky marine conservation characters and creatures to an unusual father-son pairing, 50 First Dates wins you over with heart and laughs. Chiming in with a nostalgic soundtrack and a commitment to entertain, it’s a frothy yet worthy follow up to The Wedding Singer.
IMDB rating: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 45%