BY TABATHA RENEGAR
If you are a person who loves cold weather and the winter season, then you can turn the page right now. Have a nice day and enjoy the dreary, gray, maybe-snowy-maybe-not-snowy days that lie ahead!
Still reading? Then, like me, you are NOT looking forward to the upcoming months of layering clothing, warming up cars, and staying indoors. Now, don’t get me wrong, over the last few years I have tried to embrace the slower pace that typically comes with the first months of a new year. I’ve tried to think of it as an opportunity to recharge for the warmer and more fun spring and summer months! Yet, just when I think I’m going to maintain a cheery disposition, I look out the window to a chilly landscape of grays and browns.
Ideally, when this happens, we would all head south….waaaaayyy south… to spend a few weeks beneath the palm trees, listening to the gentle lap of the ocean on the sand. But who can afford that every winter?
Solution: Cozy up by the fire with a good movie set in a picturesque tropical location!
In no particular order, here is a Top Ten List of sunny movies to help you survive the winter doldrums!
Something About Mary– Convertibles, cruise ships, and hilarity! Not one for the whole family, but this movie really does offer some great laughs all with that gorgeous Miami skyline in the background!
Point Break– Who can resist watching Keanu Reeves investigate a string of bank robberies possibly being committed by surfers! Especially when the gang of surfers is led by young Patrick Swayze! Parts of the film were shot at Lake Powell in Utah as well as Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, and Venice, California. (extra tidbit: Although the final scene of the film is set in Australia, it wasn’t filmed there – it was filmed in Florida.)
Key Largo– So, you will need to use your imagination a bit for this 1948 film noir crime drama since it’s in black and white! However, Lauran Bacall and Humphrey Bogart heat up the screen so much you almost need sunscreen! Watch it and then sing along on YouTube with the Key Largo song by Bertie Higgins: “We had it all, just like Bogey and Bacall.” That 1982 song video is an added beachy bonus!
50 First Dates– Ah, Hawaii! There have been so many movies filmed throughout the stunning Hawaiian Islands, they could practically have their own Top Ten list! But what makes 50 First Dates special is the playful charisma shared between the ever-sunshiny Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler! Not to mention adorable animals in the many scenes shot at Sea Life Park!
The Beach– Suspenseful plot, gorgeous Thailand scenery with vintage Leonardo. You’re welcome.
Jurassic Anything– The Jurassic series might be the best commercials the Hawaiian Islands of Kauai and Oahu ever had! Botanical gardens, cattle ranches, waterfalls, and cliffs are all backdrops in the fun, exciting and visually thrilling Jurassic movies.
Blue Lagoon– Remember back in the 1980s when this “romantic survival drama” caused such controversy? Shot in Fiji and Jamaica, it’s hard not to feel the allure of this story with all its scenic beauty and the beauty of the very young Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. (Whatever happened to THAT guy?)
Cast Away– Tom Hanks, nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role for this film, and his crew got to spend their hard days at work in Monuriki, Fiji. Perhaps Wilson is still there…
Pirates of the Caribbean– what islands haven’t they used? The cast and crew have shot on St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Tortuga, Dominica, the Bahamas, Singapore, Molokai, Puerto Rico, and even England! If seeing those gorgeous locales doesn’t cheer you up in the middle of January, surely Johnny Depp’s silly antics as Captain Jack Sparrow will!
Paradise, Hawaiian Style– Elvis fans will remember this 1966 classic made on Oahu. By today’s standards, it’s about as politically incorrect as they come so brace yourself and have a couple of hours of nostalgia with The King!
Casino Royale– If the Bahamas and Venice don’t warm you up, the action in this Bond thriller sure does the trick! Released in November of 2006, many critics claim that it is one of the best Bond films ever made. You be the judge!
Bonus: Finding Nemo. P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way, Sydney. Need I say more? Happy movie watching!