When Elizabeth Gilbert embarked on her bestselling memoir “Eat, Pray, Love,” she took readers on a journey of self-discovery and exploration as she traveled through Italy, India, and Indonesia.
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Fortunately, there are plenty of films that capture the same spirit. From hiking the Pacific Crest Trail to cooking French cuisine, these movies will take you on journeys of discovery and transformation. Here are 15 movies to watch if you loved “Eat, Pray, Love.”
1. Under the Tuscan Sun (2003)
Directed by Audrey Wells, this romantic drama follows a writer’s journey to Tuscany, Italy where she buys a villa. As she starts a new life in a foreign land, she begins healing from a painful divorce and rediscovering love and passion. Along the way, she forms friendships with local residents and immerses herself in the culture, ultimately learning to appreciate the beauty of life and the value of taking risks.
2. Wild (2014)
Based on the memoir by Cheryl Strayed, this biographical drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée follows her journey hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the aftermath of a personal tragedy. As she struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage, she sets out on a grueling solo trek through the wilderness. Through her journey, she confronts her demons and discovers inner strength and resilience, as well as a deep connection to the natural world.
3. The Way (2010)
Directed by Emilio Estevez, this drama follows a father who walks the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain to honor his son’s memory. On this physical and spiritual journey, he meets a diverse group of fellow travelers and begins to heal from the grief and guilt that have consumed him. He also gains a new perspective on life and learns to embrace the unexpected twists and turns of the journey.
4. Into the Wild (2007)
This biographical adventure drama directed by Sean Penn follows the journey of Christopher McCandless, a young man who leaves everything behind to live off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. Seeking to find meaning and purpose in his life, he encounters challenges and ultimately confronts the harsh realities of survival in the wilderness.
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Directed by Ben Stiller, this comedy-drama follows a daydreamer who embarks on a global journey to find a missing photograph for a magazine publication. As he travels to Iceland, Greenland, and other exotic locales, he encounters several colorful characters and confronts his fears and limitations. He learns to live in the present and take risks, ultimately discovering that the greatest adventure of all may be the one within himself.
6. Lost in Translation (2003)
Directed by Sofia Coppola, this comedy-drama follows an aging movie star and a young woman who form an unlikely bond while staying at the same hotel in Tokyo. As they navigate the challenges of cultural and generational differences, they find comfort in each other’s company and form a deep connection that transcends language and age barriers. They eventually learn to appreciate the beauty and complexity of human relationships, even those that are fleeting.
7. A Walk in the Woods (2015)
This comedy-drama directed by Ken Kwapis follows two old friends who hike the Appalachian Trail and reflect on their lives. Struggling to adapt to the trail’s physical challenges, they face their own mortality and come to recognize the regrets and missed opportunities of their pasts. They learn to appreciate life’s simple pleasures and the value of friendship.
8. Hector and the Search for Happiness (2014)
Directed by Peter Chelsom, this comedy-drama follows a psychiatrist who embarks on a journey around the world to find the secret of happiness. As he travels to China, Africa, and other locales, he encounters people and experiences that challenge his assumptions about happiness. He learns valuable lessons about the importance of connection, purpose, and living in the present moment.
9. Tracks (2013)
Directed by John Curran, this biographical adventure drama follows a young woman who walks 1,700 miles across the Australian desert with her four camels and dog. Embarking on this challenging journey, causes her to confront the harsh realities of survival in the desert and learn to rely on her own inner strength and resourcefulness.
10. Julie and Julia (2009)
Directed by Nora Ephron, this biographical comedy-drama follows the journey of a woman who decides to cook her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and blog about it. As she immerses herself in the world of French cuisine, she finds new inspiration and direction in her life.
11. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2011)
Directed by John Madden, this comedy-drama follows a group of British retirees who move to a hotel in India to start a new life and find love and adventure. As they navigate the challenges of adapting to a new culture and way of life, they form deep connections with each other and discover new opportunities for growth and fulfillment.
12. Leap Year (2010)
Directed by Anand Tucker, Leap Year is a romantic comedy that follows a woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend on Leap Day but encounters unexpected adventures and love along the way. As she navigates the Irish countryside and forms a connection with a handsome but prickly local, she begins to question her assumptions about love and commitment. Eventually, she learns to trust her instincts and to take risks, discovering a new sense of confidence and direction.
13. Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
Directed by Woody Allen, this romantic drama follows two American women who travel to Barcelona and become involved with a charismatic artist and his tempestuous ex-wife. As they navigate the complexities of love, desire, and jealousy, they confront their own assumptions and limitations.
14. The Bucket List (2007)
Directed by Rob Reiner, this comedy-drama follows two terminally ill men who embark on a road trip to fulfill their bucket list dreams before they die. While traveling the world and checking off their list, they learn to appreciate the beauty of life and the importance of living in the moment. They also form a deep bond and discover that there is still room for hope and joy even in the face of death.
15. Eat Drink Man Woman (1994)
Directed by Ang Lee, this Taiwanese comedy-drama follows a master chef and his three daughters navigating their relationships and lives in modern Taipei. They struggle to find their place in a rapidly changing society and confront questions of tradition, identity, and family. They also discover the power of food to bring people together and to express love and connection.
This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.
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This article was produced by Our Woven Journey. Featured Image Credit: Warner Bros.
Karee Blunt is a nationally syndicated travel journalist, focused on discovering destinations and experiences that captivate and inspire others through her writing. She is also the founder of Our Woven Journey, a travel site focused on inspiring others to create memory-making adventures with their loved ones. Karee is passionate about encouraging others to step out of their comfort zone and live the life they dream of. She is the mother of six kids, including four through adoption, and lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. You can learn more about Karee on her about me page.