Holiday Movies to Get You in the Mood

In the good old days, when I was an Antipodean the big holidays were at Christmas 6+ weeks of bliss, sun and sand, a bit of water, lots of fun and sleep once Christmas was put to bed.

Now it’s still Summer (all right, not at all here in Britain) and the holiday stretches uxoriously before us and I still watch the same collection of movies that move me into the zone, unwind me after a hard year and let the stresses slip away.

See if you know these: see if they send you to the same relaxed zen place, getting you into the holiday zone in 90+ minutes of the right stuff.


Water – with Michael Caine, Valerie Perrine, Billy Connolly and a plethora of other great English actors.

Set on a Caribbean Island, where life is idyllic, dope fuelled and windy and warm every day. Political upheaval, sexual desires, laconic humour and a soundtrack from Eric Clapton and George Harrison is more than enough to take you to your own island paradise. This is close to my favourite film. Written by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, of many great British films and comedies, you can’t lose.


Shirley Valentine with Pauline Collins and Tom Conti

From lousy Liverpool to gorgeous Greece, join the oddysey of a middle age woman in melt down, old before her time at 42, ignored and taken for granted by her husband. But on holidays refinds herself and life again. Based on Willy Russell’s one woman play it is the best antidote to winter and the best ad for Greece you’ll ever see. Who wouldn’t want to run away to a taverna on a beach on the Med?


Withnail and I – written by the delectable Bruce Robinson (who has a cameo in another fab holiday film) and starring Richard E Grant (but was nearly Bill Nighy) and Paul McGann features the holiday from hell.

Remember – ‘we’ve come on holiday by mistake’? It is darkly funny, sad and silly all at the same time. More a reminder of life past and foolishness forgotten, but also a wonderful way to relax into the holidays, especially if you take up the drinking game to accompany the film. Always good to begin the holiday with a hangover!!


Still Crazy, also written by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais. Starring Bill Nighy, Jimmy Nail, Stephen Rea, Billy Connolly, Stephen Rea and Timothy Spall with cameo from Bruce Robinson.

This is the ageing rock band – Strange Fruit – making a comeback, searching for past glories but finding past indiscretions instead. Great music – Jimmy Nail and Bill Nighy both sing and the music is good, fab acting, lots of fun. A big poignant in spots – great fun all the way.


Yes, there are tons more, and I haven’t even touched the Xmas movies – that was another blog. But these are fun and get you in the mood for relaxing, indulging and getting away. What more could you want?

Enjoy. (Images courtesy Google Images)


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