All Women's Talk

7 Fantastic Films to Watch before Visiting France ...

By Neecey

The best films to watch before visiting France will really get you in the mood for your trip. Evocative of all things Gallic, the movies will build your expectations so much that you could be a fully-fledged Francophile before you even set foot on French soil. These films to watch before visiting France will give you a taste of French food, French Romance, French fashion… oh well, you get the picture. For more than a little touch of je ne sais quoi, read on…

Table of contents:

  1. An american in paris
  2. Mr. bean’s holiday
  3. A good year
  4. Chocolat
  5. Marie antoinette
  6. L'esprit de paris amelie (le fabuleux destin d'amélie poulain)
  7. To catch a thief

1 An American in Paris

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

This musical will have you dancing along with the great Gene Kelly and sweet Leslie Caron, as you quickly recall the melodies to the soundtrack’s classic songs. As one of the best films to watch before visiting France, An American in Paris may show the typical artist-in-a-beret stereotype of the city, but it doesn’t make Paris any less enticing. Written in 1938, the film has stood the test of time. And who can pass up an improvised pas-de-deux beneath the Pont Neuf, next to the Seine? Ir-re-sist-ib-le.

2 Mr. Bean’s Holiday

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

I saw you raise those eyebrows, lady! I’m pretty sure you never expected to see this but really, this one is ten times better than the first outing – Bean. I’m not a fan of Mr. Bean, although I do have to admit Rowan Atkinson is a comedy genius for his portrayal of this crazy character. In Mr. Bean’s Holiday, you get a trip through France right down to Cannes, getting to see lots of glorious French countryside – and a pretty good idea of what French trains and roads are like too.

3 A Good Year

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

If there are any movies that will make you want to visit the South of France, it’s this one. Russell Crowe shows off his soft romantic side as a former London stockbroker who is left a vineyard in his uncle’s will. It’s funny and cute and you’ll definitely get a feel for the laid back lifestyle in that part of the country.

4 Chocolat

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

What makes this one of the films to watch before visiting France – well it certainly isn’t the perfectly carved Johnny Depp or beautiful Juliette Binoche. What makes it essential viewing for Francophiles is the atmosphere, the food and the scenery. It might be told through chocolate but the love of food and its power is evident and points to France as being a supreme culinary nation and the little town is typical of many you can visit throughout France.

5 Marie Antoinette

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

If you want to get a feel for the grandeur, splendor, luxury and excessive indulgences of France’s great palaces and chateaux, you’ll experience it in droves in Sofia Coppola’s extravagant retelling of the story of France’s ill-fated queen. It will certainly prepare you for the majesty of the Palace of Versailles if that is on your itinerary.

6 L'Esprit De Paris Amelie (Le Fabuleux Destin D'Amélie Poulain)

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Anyone who has seen Amelie will tell you that it’s one of the movies to watch before visiting France. In fact, it’s likely one of their favorites. The movie follows a charming and adorable young Amelie through the Montmartre quarter, as she strikes out to inflict both good deeds and pranks on her neighbors. Highlighting the Montmartre quarter of the city, the film had a very smart effect on the area; as the film has become quite popular, so has Montmartre. You’ll be sure to want to visit, yourself, once you’ve arrived in the City of Light.

7 To Catch a Thief

On iTunes at: itunes.apple.com

Fabulous cast – check (Cary Grant and Grace Kelly). Brilliant director – check (Alfred Hitchcock). Great plot with a twist – check (naturally, it’s Hitchcock). Stunning setting – double check. If you want a feast of astounding French Riviera locations before you head off to the sun, get your fix in this movie. The coastline, the beaches, the ocean, the hillsides and the blue, blue sky are all there for you to drool over. Oh yeah, and there’s a pretty good story going on too!

These are just some of the great movies to watch before visiting France. If you’re off to Paris, you'll find hundreds more. Are you planning on a trip to France one day or are you happy to visit it in the movie theater?

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