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Traveller in the Theatre District, New York, USA

5 Films You Need to Watch Before Going to the USA

By Real Travelling

Last updated: 17th November 2015

Tempted to road trip your way around the USA? Before you grab that passport make sure you’ve swatted up on our top 5 films to watch before heading to the United States! Whether you’re wanting to road trip your way through all 50 states, party it up in Las Vegas or experience the bright lights of New York City - these blockbusters will provide you with some inspiration but also give you a bit of common ground with the locals (we hope). 

We’ve quizzed the Real Travelling team for all their film recommendations, and are proud to present our top 5 films you must watch before heading to the US of A... you’re most welcome!

Forrest Gump

This American epic might be a bit of an oldie these days (1994) but it’s an absolute classic and if it’s not on it, it can’t be far off the list of all-time greatest movies! Based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom the film stars the one and only Tom Hanks (yes you’re right it’s Woody’s voice from Toy Story). Following the footsteps of Forrest Gump (a loveable but fair to say slow minded guy from Alabama) during some defining events of the 20th century, you’ll get to see; several recognised spots across Georgia (some purely due to this film), Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina (Run Forrest run!) and a number of renowned landmarks of Washington DC. Be sure to remember some of Forrest’s quotes!

Sex and the City

So in this case we’re talking about the movie (2008) not the TV series, but by all means grab a boxset or jump on Netflix to check the series out, that way you’ll get to see even more US inspiration. Sex and the City is all about New York and follows the lives of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her bezzie’s. As a writer Carrie likes to share insight about sex and love, but after finally moving in with her ‘Mr. Big’ they make a rather quick decision to get married and this (as you’ve probably guessed) is when her whole world gets turned upside down (that wedding dress!!). So if you’re after some laughs, having a girls (or boys) night in, or just want to demolish a tub of Ben & Jerry’s, this one is highly recommended.

The Hangover

It’s Vegas baby! So The Hangover (2009) is one of those films to sit down and crack-up to when you’re in one of those higher than life moods, where films don’t have to make that much sense as you just want some guilt-free laughs and craziness. So the story behind this HUGE night out is that Doug is getting married. Two days before the wedding four guys cruise up to Las Vegas – you’ve probably got an idea of what’s going to happen but you really can’t call this one. The bride to be doesn’t want any male bonding rituals before the wedding but (guys being guys) inevitably it happens, with a small lie to cover it up. The boys awaken in their hotel suite with a trail of destruction behind them, plus the small issue that the groom is missing. You’re bound to get some laughs from this one, plus some controversial sayings to share, that way you can get your own wolf pack!

Wolf of Wall Street

Name a Leo DiCaprio film that isn’t a must see?! Even if the movie isn’t the greatest of all time we could stare at that dreamboat all day! The Wolf Wall Street (2013) – where do we start? This treasure is up there as a favourite for some of the guys (and girls) at the RG HQ. Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, you shadow the rise of a young stock-broker who starts out trading pennies in Long Island and rises to the financial district of New York (Wall Street). With Jordan’s success, he takes a turn for the worse (although some might call it the high life) involving crime, corruption and the federal government. You get to travel all over the world with Leo in this one, but it delivers a comedic insight on the New York City trading scene. Enjoy and don’t be worried if some of Jordan Belfort’s charisma rubs off on you.

American Pie

It’s not so much the films themselves when it comes to the American Pie movies - it’s more the fact of them turning into teenage cult classics (at least in the 2000’s anyway). The first film (1999) is surprisingly old now but has some classic one liners, pranks which have 100% been duplicated all around the world, plus that typical American high school vibe. Ok sometimes it’s a little cringe, but would you have it any other way? The series more recently re-entered our lives with the original cast back together in ‘the Reunion’ (2012). It’s a journey which takes you through the ups and downs of adolescence, drops you in some old-school house parties, scares you with the thought of wedding planning and finally shows you that adulthood doesn’t have to be all that boring. If you get the time we recommend you watch all of the American Pie affairs to get a taste of that teen American perspective, plus it might help if you come across any frat parties.

By the time you’ve watched these all American knockouts you’ll have some new lingo, inspiration, gags to try out and would have experienced connotations of the ‘American Dream’ from all paths of life.


If you like what you see then why not get out there!

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