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35 films we’d love to live in

The best movie locations, eras, styles, designs and stories to hang out in.

by Colin Crummy
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Jul 23 2015, 6:41pm

1. Back to the Future, Part II
For a 2015 with Nike Power laces, Hoverboards and dehydrated Pizzas.

2. The Grand Budapest Hotel
The baths might have seen better days but how could you resist a night at Wes Anderson's Grand Budapest, waited on by a legendary concierge and ordering in Mendl's immaculately powder pink boxed Courtesan au Chocolat?

3. The Beach
The best ad for island hopping and backpacking ever (let's ignore the bit where it all goes belly up with shark attacks and pirate types).

4. Mean Girls
Just so we could help Gretchen make 'fetch' happen.

5. An Affair to Remember
Sod missed messages on Tinder, Carey Grant and Deborah Kerr give it old style romance-against-the-odds in this classic of the genre.

6. The Shining
The Overlook Hotel isn't exactly going to win over the trolls of Trip Advisor, but fans of Stanley Kubrick's stylish horror need no convincing to pack an overnight bag for this one. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

7. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
It may not have been the epilogue to the TV series the fans hoped for, but David Lynch's sometimes baffling big screen outing for the cult hit gave us one run around eerie ol' Twin Peaks and a last hit of cherry pie to savor.

8. Thelma & Louise
The open road never looked as fun or as empowering as when Thelma and Louise went on the run.

9. Citizen Kane
If mansions are commonplace locations for films, none quite hit the heights of Citizen Kane's 'Xanadu', built on a private mountain, with Venetian style canals and its own zoo. Michael Jackson's Neverland's got nothing on this.

10. Spirited Away
Entering the world of Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki may involve submitting yourself to a fantasy where parents are turned into pigs, but it's the first of Spirited Away's many weird morphing that makes us want to visit its world.

11. Home Alone
American family cinema rarely lets an opportunity go by when it can show off some serious suburban real estate and Home Alone let's fly with the McCallister's mini mansion, all decked out for Christmas. We'll take it, brattish Macaulay Culkin included.

12. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Jacques Demy's Palme D'or winning musical paints the Normandy seaside town of Cherbourg rainbow bright as every dress, shop front and living room matches the film's magical mood. You will want to visit after this.

13. Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Who wouldn't want to drag up, clamor atop a battered old school bus and ride across the Australian outback lip synching for your life?

14. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
'The question isn't what are we going to do; the question is what aren't we going to do?' John Hughes makes every school kid's dream a reality as his teen protagonist has a really sick day.

15. I am Love
Ravishing is the best way to describe everything about this film: from the Milanese location to the Italian food and Tilda Swinton's designer dresses (thanks, Fendi!) 

16. Far from Heaven
Todd Haynes's picture perfect recreation of 1950s social melodramas explored thorny home truths the original films couldn't but despite the bad drama white picket fence suburban Connecticut still looked a divine place to live.

17. Milk
Gus Van Sant makes 70s San Fran look super gay and politicized in this rousing biopic of late, great activist Harvey Milk. And this, and you get to hang out with James Franco in bathhouses.

18. The Goonies
A film front loaded with funhouse tricks and amusement park style thrills, The Goonies became every 80s kids' dream adventure.

19. The Great Gatsby
Baz Luhrmann gave good celebration scenes in Romeo & Juliet and Moulin Rouge (where Smells like Teen Spirit met the Can-Can) but neither can beat The Great Gatsby for the decadent parties.

20. 54: The Director's Cut
Nightclub scenes are difficult to put off at the cinema, whether over egged blingy fantasy or under financed, too grim reality. 54 feels like the real deal and in Mark Christopher's director cut gives us a legendary, sweaty club and era we'd queue for.

21. Amelie
To some it remains the sick inducing early noughties equivalent of lovelocks on Parisian bridges. To many, it re-imagined the French capital in nostalgic, city of love terms.

22. Jurassic Park
OK, so I know things turned a little hairy with T-Rex but who didn't want to head to Jurassic Park to the sound of that score from John Williams?

23. Before Sunrise
Richard Linklater's one night in Vienna turned us on to European romance. The follow up, 2004's Before Sunset did the same trick for Paris, effectively becoming the best adverts for minibreaks Easyjet could ever hope for.

24. Frances Ha
Frances Ha can barely dance, read social cues or keep a lifelong friendship going, but in Noah Baumbach's black and white New York, failure looked super stylish as well as super cute.

25. The Talented Mr. Ripley
Being young, beautiful and idly rich on the sun drenched Italian coast never looked as inviting as under Anthony Mingella's direction. A spot of murder intrigue didn't hurt matters either.

26. Her
Spike Jonze's near future might be a lonely place but with high waisted trousers, lemon sherbet shirts and video games guided by sweary alien children, it sure looks appealing nonetheless.

27. Marie Antoinette
Kristen Dunst blossoms into a queen of excess in Sophia Coppola's retelling of France's ill-fated majesty set to a post-punk soundtrack. And oh, the cakes!

28. Drive
Drive so stylishly deploys its 80s noir aesthetic that it's completely possible to want into its brutal world.

29. Spring Breakers
For the neon bikinis; Harmony Korine can keep the lurid violence for himself.

30. Volver
You'd choose to live in any Pedro Almovodar's films for the color schemes alone, but this one makes you fall hook, line and sinker for Penelope Cruz.

31. An American in Paris
One of the most elegant, optimistic musicals ever made, An American in Paris sweeps you up in its romantic, Technicolor dream.

32. Enchanted
I for one would quite happily live in a world where Amy Adams breaks into song in Central Park and turns a walk in the Manhattan sunshine into a musical number. Any other takers?

33. Fame
A toss up between this and Flashdance but Alan Parker's much grittier performing arts world saga still managed to get you itching for leggings and crop tops.

34. To the Wonder
The characters in Terrence Malick's films are rarely at peace with themselves but even in his lesser work like To the Wonder, the camera swings between Parisian boulevards and American Plains capturing scenes of serene beauty.

35. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Because everyone wanted to go to Hogwarts. Added attraction: a young Robert Pattinson, who has also enrolled. Sign.Us.Up.Already.

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Text Colin Crummy

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the 35th birthday issue