“A Tourist’s Guide to Love” is the perfect romantic comedy


Poster courtesy of @Netflix on Instagram

New romantic comedy, “A Tourist’s Guide to Love”, follows a travel executive on her visit to Vietnam.

By Melissa Redlich, Features Editor

A clique travel romantic comedy. What more could someone ask for? 

Released on Netflix on April 21st, ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ follows the story of travel executive Amanda Riley (Rachael Leigh Cook) on her trip to Vietnam. After a break up, Amanda’s boss forces her to go “undercover” and learn about the tourist industry in Vietnam. There, she meets the handsome and kind tour guide, Sinh Thach (Scott Ly), who not only teaches her about Vietnamese culture, but teaches her about herself. 

At the start of the movie Amanda is sheltered and a perfectionist. Going into Vietnam, Amanda has lists and lists of places she wants to visit, all being popular tourist destinations. However, as the movie continues, she learns that she is no longer focused on seeing what everyone else sees and decides to travel “off the beaten path.”

As Sinh says, “a tourist wants to escape life, a traveler wants to experience it.” His family’s travel company, Saigon Silver Star, hopes to not only share their love of Vietnam with the people on their tour, but to show them the true beauty of the country. This is why, mid-way through the movie, the tourist group travels to a small family village called Thôn Chàng, filmed in the northeastern province of Vietnam.

In Thôn Chàng, they get to live with the tour guides extended family and friends. It is here that they are able to experience Vietnamese culture, taste new foods, and celebrate Vietnamese New Year. 

According to The Cinemaholic, ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ is partially based on a true story of the life of the film’s Vietnamese American screenwriter Eirene Donohue. Like Amanda, Eirene was broken up with a few days before she embarked on a trip to Vietnam. Throughout the movie, Donohue depicts how for both her and Amanda, traveling helped discover new dimensions of themselves. 

In an interview done with Popsugar prior to the movie release, Donohue shares that “The aim of this film was not just to tell a love story, but to capture the sheer joy that can come with people from different cultures coming together and connecting over a shared, totally unique, and beautiful experience. This is a movie that is as much about loving life as it is another person.”

Unlike a lot of recent Hallmark-esque movies, this movie definitely does not lack personality. Filmed all around Vietnam in places like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang and Ha Giang, ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ showcases multiple unique aspects of the country of Vietnam. The scenes in the bustling cities juxtaposed with the calm beach town and countryside would make anyone want to add Vietnam to their travel bucket list. 

Overall, despite being cheesy, ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ is a great new romantic comedy to add to your list, just be ready to have a bad case of wanderlust by the end.