GIMME FIVE: Vacation Movies

BY ASHLEY KOWALEWSKI

The holidays are almost upon us, and while most of us are bound to a slew of crazy family get-togethers, others (the lucky ones) will pack their bags, get on a plane and head off into the horizon for a couple of weeks of R&R, cutting the familial commitment strings. Truthfully, every year I want to do this, but every year somehow my holidays end up looking like a less funny version of Four Christmases. So, here’s to those stuck at home in the bitter cold: Enjoy reliving someone else’s hilariously flawed or holiday romance-infused vacation from the comfort of your own home.

5) Couples Retreat

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Couples Retreat tells the story of four couples going on vacation for a week to this amazing resort in French Polynesia (my dream vacation, in case anyone wants to foot the bill) in an effort to help their friends save their marriage. Of course this vacation is sprinkled with “couples skill-building” and couples’ counselling, so naturally it instantly becomes hilarious–especially when you add Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman and Jon Favreau to the mix. Honestly, I watch this movie all the time and constantly get made fun of for it but, if only for the picturesque beach shots, it’s a good flick on a rainy day.

4) The Holiday

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One of the best sort-of-Christmas movies out there, jilted Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet switch houses for two weeks, one living in LA and the other in London, to try and forget about their douchey boyfriends and find some clarity in their lives. This is something that almost everyone dreams about doing just once: Checking out of life for a couple of weeks, travelling alone and just seeing what happens. And hey, maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find out that you and Jack Black (or Jude Law, if that’s more your speed) are totally meant to be.

3) Forgetting Sarah Marshall
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Following the theme of jilted lovers, Peter (Jason Segel) is dumped by his longtime actress girlfriend Sarah Marshall (Kristen Bell) and ends up at the same Hawaiian resort as her and her new beau Aldous Snow (Russell Brand). This movie is truly hilarious and Mila Kunis, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader and Jack McBrayer are all the icing on the cake. If you haven’t seen this, all I can ask is what are you waiting for?

2) National Lampoon’s Vacation

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A classic to say the least, this flick spawned three sequels, including European Vacation, Christmas Vacation and Vegas Vacation. The Griswold family sets out on a cross-country roadtrip in dad Clark’s (Chevy Chase) attempt to spend more time with his ever-busy growing family.  Naturally, everything goes wrong, all starting with the family car, but is funny in only a way that Chevy Chase can make possible.

1) Dirty Dancing
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The classic of vacation classics (at least to this fille), you know this movie. You’ve seen this movie (I hope), or at least you’ve heard enough about it that you get the gist (again, I hope). Every time I watch this I can’t help but wonder why my teen years’ family vacations were never this fun and never amounted to a summer romance with the late great Patrick Swayze (and then every time I see “The Lift” I think of Ryan Gosling…).

Full disclosure: While writing this piece I was in fact preparing (read: daydreaming endlessly) about my own impending Mexican vacation a mere 15 days away #sorrynotsorry

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