Are these the three worst Expat Movies?
According to journalist and blogger Barry Neild there are some pretty awful Expat-focused movies out there.
If they aren’t making you form unrealistic expectations of blissful, cocktail fuelled days in the sun they’re making culture shock seem like a series of hilarious/embarrassing lost-in-translation moments.
Well, a couple of years ago Neild decided to list what he believed to be the world’s worst expat movies and we’ve decided to dredge that list up and see what you think of it! Neild’s actually ranked the world’s seven worst expat movies, but after some serious consideration we narrowed down his selection to three.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
To be fair to this film, musicals are very much love or loathe so this was never going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It really, really wasn’t Neild’s. However, if you mute the telly (and ignore the half clothed middle-aged men chasing after a dungaree-clad aging hippie) the film does show its Greek island setting in a pretty positive light. The locals are friendly, the weather’s amazing, the beaches are to die for and cross-cultural love thrives. When you look at it that way there are certainly worse expat films. Like number four…
The Beach (2000)
Some consider this film (and the novel on which it was based) as a searing indictment of the concept of utopian living. Others prefer to think of it as a critique of the traveller VS tourist culture. But some viewers simply like to focus on the stunning Thai scenery, the harmony of the expat community (well, before all the jealousy, drugs, shark attacks and death anyway) and the idea that there are still a few unexplored corners of the world.
According to Neild, this is quote from the film is a fine cinematic example of ‘excruciating expat dialogue’ – Richard “I just feel like everyone tries to do something different, but you always wind up doing the same damn thing.”
Eat Pray Love (2010)
Oh dear. The subtitle for the book this film was based on is ‘One woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia’ and that pretty much sums up the plot. In response to a failed relationship a woman sets off across the world in search of enlightenment, fulfilment and meaning. The result? A self indulgent, sometimes pretentious, occasionally nauseating and highly unrealistic expat adventure. Neild found fault with the fact that the central character (played by Julia Roberts) managed to eat what she wanted in Italy without gaining weight and then swan about the globe without any apparent financial concerns, and we’re inclined to agree with his disparaging view. There might be some beautiful settings and occasional touching moments, but in the over two hours it would take to watch this film you could be out enjoying your own memorable expat experience. We suggest you do that instead.
If you’d like to check out Neild’s original list (and see which films we chopped) you can find it here.
What do you think? Are these the three worst expat movies? Have your say on Facebook, Twitter or in The Expat Hub Forum.