CATEGORIES Cinematical
Film location tourism is becoming a big industry. But that's not necessarily what I'm looking for here. Admitting that you've been to Astoria, Oregon, just to see the Goonies house or to Katz's Deli to sit where Meg Ryan did when she famously faked it in When Harry Met Sally is for another time (though I'm sure I'll get comments related to that). I'm more interested in a general place that you've visited because of how it was portrayed in a film. Like vacationing in Astoria and its vicinity because Kindergarten Cop made the coastal landscape appear so gorgeous. Or deciding to finally see New York City because of how it looks in the opening montage of Manhattan.

What I'm looking for is the potential for movies to function as tourism ads. And is it possible to pick one film that makes people want to flock to the Big Apple or is it a number of films. And is anyone fooled by cinema's representation of a place or disappointed when they finally get there. As someone who lives in NYC, for instance, I hope nobody was inspired to take a trip here solely based on the very false, cartoonish portrayal of the city in Enchanted. Meanwhile, I'm sure someone has gone to Moscow at a time when it wasn't snowing and been shocked by the reality of the city's climate.

I wonder if wanting to see Mount Rushmore after seeing it in North by Northwest counts as the film being a tourism ad for the landmark or the rock formation becoming more of a landmark through its prominent use in Hitchcock's classic. Same with Stonehenge, which I was likely exposed to via European Vacation. Still, neither is the same as wanting to see the specific, not-already-a-landmark firehouse from Ghostbusters once you're already in NYC, right?

I've vacationed in Argentina mainly due to my love of Argentine cinema, though I can't really pinpoint a single movie that inspired me to travel there. I will say Oscar-winner The Official Story made me want to visit Bueno Aires' Plaza de Mayo, particularly to see the weekly march by the Madres de Plaza de Mayo (I immediately felt bad -- people should not be tourist attractions). But that is almost as film-specific location tourism as the Goonies house.

There are some places I haven't yet been to that I can probably link my interest in to single films. Run Lola Run made me want to visit Berlin. Cry in the Dark for some reason made me want to go camping in Central Australia (and specifically Ayers' Rock). Lost in Translation made me want to go to Japan (though since then both Tokyo Story and Cafe Lumiere have also inspired me since). And speaking of Scarlett Johansson, Vicky Cristina Barcelona might have interested you in the titular Catalan city (it might have done so for me had I not been there before). And the Lord of the Rings movies have probably made every human being want to see New Zealand, and not to specifically visit the Hobbit village sets.

Inversely, any movies made you NOT want to vacation somewhere? Has City of God turned you off from Rio? Did Robocop keep you away from Detroit? Has every film shot in LA made you avoid the place?