5 movies to get you in the mood for Hawaii

I’ll be travelling to Hawaii in 12 days, 18 hours, 22 minutes, and two seconds. Not that I’m counting.

Soon (12 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes, and 30 seconds to be precise) Mrs Man vs World and I will be heading to world-famous Waikiki for a massive week of relaxation, bar hopping, shopping, swimming, sightseeing and, well, all the other things tourists do when they’re on holiday in Honolulu.

I’m so excited for our Hawaiian vacation that I’ve decided to make a list of 5 films set in Hawaii to get me (even more) in the mood for our trip.

*Please note: this isn’t necessarily a list of the best movies in Hawaii!

5 movies to get me in the mood for Hawaii

5. 50 First Dates

First up, an Adam Sandler movie makes the list – I warned you that it wasn’t a list of the best films set in Hawaii. Still, I’m man enough to admit that I actually kind of like 50 First Dates.

Drew Barrymore stars as a woman with severe short-term memory issues, while Sandler is the self-absorbed playboy who tries to win her heart – starting from scratch every day, because she’s already forgotten the day before.

Much of the movie was shot on location on the island of Oahu – Hawaii’s third largest and most populated island, which I’ll be visiting in only 12 days, 18 hours, 17 minutes, and 55 seconds.

5 movies to get me in the mood for Hawaii

4. Blue Crush

Can you possibly guess from that poster why an 18-year-old me really enjoyed the movie Blue Crush when it came out in 2002?

In these days of wedded bliss I’ll be far more interested in the Hawaiian setting (honestly!) than in the three good-looking surfer girls who live to surf the massive waves of Oahu’s famous North Shore. The movie stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake (the only one of the three who’s of Hawaiian descent), and features guest appearances from some famous surfers who I wouldn’t know even if they introduced themselves.

5 movies to get me in the mood for Hawaii

3. The Descendants

Finally – 12 days, 18 hours, 10 minutes, and 24 seconds before my departure – a critically acclaimed movie set in Hawaii: The Descendants deals with the dramatic struggles of a Honolulu attorney (George Clooney) in the wake of a tragic accident that leaves his wife in a coma.

I’d be lying if I said The Descendants was a cheerful film, but believe me when I say it’s a very good one. As well as making many critic’s best of lists for 2011, the film was nominated for best picture, best actor, best director, best editing, and best adapted screenplay at the 84th Academy Awards – winning only the last one.

The Descendants is the first movie set in Hawaii that showed me the island is more than just beautiful beaches and tourism – regular people with regular jobs live there too.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

And we’re back to what most people think of when they think about Hawaii: floral lei, traditional luau, and beautiful beaches. In Forgetting Sarah Marshall there’s all this plus Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Paul Rudd, Jonah Hill, Russell Brand, and (in one haunting scene) a very naked Jason Segel.

In this Judd Apatow-produced film a struggling musician (Segel) is unceremoniously dumped by his TV star girlfriend (Bell), he heads to Hawaii for a much-needed holiday and a chance to get his life together. Unfortunately, his ex and her new lover (Brand) are staying in the same hotel.

I’ll be going on my own much-needed Hawaiian holiday in only 12 days, 18 hours, 5 minutes, and 18 seconds.

Tora! Tora! Tora!

1. Tora! Tora! Tora!

I’ve included an Adam Sandler movie on this list, but I will not steep so low as to include that Michael Bay turd Pearl Harbor here. Instead, I’d rather re-watch classic war film Tora! Tora! Tora! to get me in the mood for my impending visit to the real-life Pearl Harbor later this month.

Entertaining and informative, Tora! Tora! Tora! was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best special effects (which it won), art direction, best cinematography, best film editing, and best sound. To be fair, that’s only one more nomination than Pearl Harbor received, but it also has something else that gives it the edge: Ben Affleck does not star in it.

I will definitely be visiting Pearl Harbor when I’m in Hawaii. Just 12 days, 17 hours, 55 minutes, and 51 seconds to go… the wait is killing me!

What do you thinks of these picks? Let me know some of your favourite Hawaiian-set films in the comments below.

About Simon Petersen 504 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

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