In addition to romantic comedies, the films on this list include biopics, documentaries, and even documentaries about romantic comedies. There’s a good mix of new releases and old favorites available to watch on Amazon Prime and Netflix, depending on your preferences.
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This list is sure to have at least a few films that you’ll enjoy if you enjoyed Eat Pray Love and are looking for something new to watch!
Here are my picks for the best inspirational travel films like Eat Pray Love. Let me know which one is your favorite by leaving a comment at the end of this post!
Nomadland, which will be released at the end of 2020, is the kind of poignant, heartfelt film we all needed to put an end to the turbulent year that was. As Fern, Frances McDormand plays a woman whose life is turned upside down when her husband dies and her small Nevada town is virtually erased by the 2008 recession.
Fern lives in a camper van and works odd jobs to meet her societal obligation. Throughout her journey, she meets real people who portray themselves in the film and learns valuable lessons about love, life, and death from them. She finds a community in a temporary caravan, but she can’t seem to get away from the road. After seeing her sister for the first time, she’s forced to ask herself, “Why did I leave my family?” Was what I was looking for actually found?
2. Paris Can Wait
Nothing reawakens the senses like a drive through France. Anne, a middle-aged woman who is at a crossroads in her life, travels from Cannes to Paris on the spur of the moment with her husband’s business partner. The two map out their route in a blue Peugeot, taking side trips for scenic vistas, delectable cuisine, and fine wine.
This movie is all about enjoying life’s little pleasures, like spontaneity and slowing down. What better person to impart such wisdom than a dashing Frenchman?
In Wild (2014), the protagonist Cheryl is at a crossroads in her life, much like Elizabeth in Eat Pray Love. She must face many demons to succeed. She decides to take on a seemingly insurmountable physical challenge to give herself a much-needed confidence boost and jump-start her new life after her divorce.
According to true events, Wild follows Cheryl as she traverses the entire United States on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). This film is about both physical and mental endurance.
This list of fantastic adventure travel films is a must-see if you enjoyed Wild.
Maybe wandering the streets of Florence instead of trekking across the Australian outback is more your speed… Tracks (2014), like Wild, demonstrates that everyone’s definition of ‘adventure’ is different.
While walking from Alice Springs to the coast of Western Australia, a young Brisbane woman named Robyn has no idea what challenges she will face. This film about inspiring solo travel examines the healing effects of solitude.
5. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) if you enjoyed Eat, Pray, Love. If you haven’t, you must do so right away! Introspection, discovery, and healing through travel are themes explored in this film, which has a similar feel to it.
This film, which is based on a short story, follows the journey of a man who decides to leave corporate America and pursue his romantic and far-flung travel dreams. He has a specific goal in mind, but what he discovers along the way completely surprises him.
6. Enchanted April
Enchanted April (1991) is a classic that tells the story of four British women who respond to a newspaper advertisement and end up taking a life-changing spring trip to Italy, where they stay in a castle for the duration of the trip. Change of scenery helps, and as the women reflect on their marriages, they also find common ground and form new friendships as a result of their experiences.
The Castello Brown in Portofino, where Elizabeth von Arnim, the author of the book on which the film is based, stayed in the 1920s, was used to film this classic film.
7. Everything is Illuminated
This movie is still on my watch list despite being a huge fan of the Jonathan Safran Foer novel on which it’s based. There’s a good chance that by the time you see this, I’ve already seen it several times.
This is yet another film about a person’s search for meaning on a deeply personal level. When Alex leaves his home in the United States for Ukraine, he’s on a mission to find the woman who saved his grandfather during WWII. Along the way, he’ll have to face the demons of the past for good. This film explores the connection between one’s upbringing and one’s future goals in a humorous, poignant, and slightly offbeat manner.
8. The Beautiful Country
It’s all about embarking on the one journey that some people were born to take in The Beautiful Country (2005), another title on this list of inspirational travel films. As a result of his father’s service in the Vietnam War, young Vietnamese man Binh was abandoned by his father and raised by an American GI.
Binh must travel to rural Texas in order to find his father and learn his true identity, despite his reluctance to leave his village in southern Vietnam. For Binh, it’s been a harrowing six-month journey filled with heartbreak and triumph. In addition to exploring themes of belonging and community, this film is fascinating historically.
9. The Tree
The Tree (2017) is a sweet, life-affirming story about an 88-year-old widow who travels across middle America to visit a childhood friend, proving that there’s no such thing as too late for an adventure.
Despite the worries of her family, stubborn Dorothy is determined to make it back to Indiana from Kansas on her own terms. This isn’t a flashy movie; it’s subdued and straightforward, exploring universal themes like aging and independence in a way that’s easy to relate to. Interestingly, the plot was inspired by the director’s mother and her best friend.
10. Midnight in Paris
This one’s for the ladies who love to be pampered. Midnight in Paris, a 2011 Woody Allen film, follows a young couple as they explore Paris after hours. It’s a visual treat, and the music only enhances the experience. A lot of the locations will be familiar if you’ve been to Paris before.
A twist, however, is in store for us. Gil decides to walk the streets of Paris by himself after a fight between the two main characters. A time warp sends him back to an earlier version of Paris, where he meets up with an old friend. This is a unique and memorable film about love, passion, and the beauty of getting lost that is equal parts fantasy and romantic comedy.
11. Away We Go
The couple decides to travel across the United States to find a place to raise their first child after learning they’re expecting. Away We Go (2009), which is similar to Eat Pray Love, is about the search for belonging and the search for clarity when faced with a difficult decision in life.
As the couple travels across the country to see family and friends, they come to understand what ‘home’ really means and how fluid the concept can be. This independent film is a fun, feel-good comedy.
If you’ve never seen Chocolat (2001), you’re in for a treat. Its evocative French setting will whisk you away right away. When Elizabeth starts learning Italian in the movie Eat, Pray, Love, you’ll remember how much more grounded she feels in her surroundings. As in Chocolat, the protagonist goes to great lengths to build strong bonds with her adoptive community while remaining free-spirited.
Vianne and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a small, conservative village in the story. As a result of their efforts, they have become well-liked and respected members of the neighborhood. From romance to action to life lessons, this heartwarming tale has it all.
13. Il Postino
Before last summer’s trip to the Aeolian Islands off the Sicilian coast, I’d never heard of the 1994 film Il Postino. A significant portion of the film was shot on the island of Salina, making it an Italian cult classic.
The storyline has shades of Chocolat to it. Exiled Cuban poet Pablo seeks refuge on the tiny Italian island of Pantelleria. Upon arrival, he meets Mario, a local resident and postal worker whose sole responsibility it is to deliver Pablo’s mail. When Pablo and Mario get to know each other, they form a strong bond that helps Mario use poetry to woo a barmaid and tell the stories of his neighborhood. This is a fantastic film for anyone who enjoys traveling because of the picturesque setting and the theme of ‘fitting in’ in a new place.
14. Roman Holiday
When it comes to Italy, there’s also Audrey Hepburn’s 1953 romantic comedy Roman Holiday, which takes place in the country. It’s interesting to note that this film has a distinct genre identity. Romance films were shot in the city during the period known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber,’ when international directors flocked there to shoot their productions against the picturesque backdrop of the Eternal City.
To see Rome in the 1950s is to watch Roman Holiday, which is like going on a virtual tour. The setting takes center stage, with the plot coming in second. It’s not unlike the idea of escaping corporate America, a theme you see in many modern-day films like Eat Pray Love, where Princess Ann escapes her highly regimented life of luxury and falls in love with a journalist who shows her new sides of the city and a new side of herself.
15. Year by the Sea
The’sea change’ is a recurring theme in films about finding oneself and improving oneself. There’s a sea change in Year by the Sea! (2016)! The story revolves around Joan, a wife and mother who decides to leave her husband and move to Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in search of a fresh start..
With each new beginning, she experiences guilt and empowerment, which leads her to seek support from others, including a mentor. This film, like Eat Pray Love, has a male lead who is referred to in the synopsis as ‘a sexy fisherman.’ Year by the Sea demonstrates how liberating it can be to leave one’s familiar surroundings and start over in a new place.