There’s a well-know debate over whether art imitates life or life imitates art. In the case of movies, I think it’s a little of both.
Movies have greatly influenced pop culture for years. I’m sure a fair share of young men sported white t-shirts and leather jackets after seeing Rebel Without a Cause and what girl didn’t want to wear leg warmers after seeing Flashdance? Still countless other movies have motivated us to change our hair, clothes, or even how we talk.
In more recent years, movies with story lines set in Europe have led to film-inspired trends, and not just with clothing or hairstyles. Let’s take a look at a few….
Bridget Jone’s Diary – In 2001, the book by British author Helen Fielding, Bridget Jone’s Diary, was made into a movie. The movie was an instant hit in the theatres, but outside theatres, the movie did something else. It made journaling or keeping a diary cool again, even for women over 30. Some people could even argue that Bridget was one of the first bloggers, or at least an early blogger for her time.
Under the Tuscan Sun – Two years later, in 2003, the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was released. Tuscany, with its vineyards, olive trees, and sweeping country sides, has been a popular tourist destination for years. But the movie really put the region on the map, making it not only a destination for senior travelers, but also a destination for young lonely women to find themselves (and a little romance) along the way.
Harry Potter and LOTR – For the sci-fi crowd, the Harry Potter series brought loads of muggles to London and Oxford to catch a glimpse of the boy magician’s haunts. Although set in a fictitious land, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, also brought a significant surge of tourism to New Zealand.
Mama Mia – In 2008, Mama Mia the movie took the world by storm. But it also catapulted tourism in the Greek islands and for one main reason – destination weddings. The Telegraph reports that more and more couples are seeking destination weddings in the Greek Isles, and they want them to be as close to the movie wedding as possible, ABBA soundtrack included.
Julie & Julia – Now, fast-forward to today. Food bloggers everywhere have been highly anticipating the release of Julie & Julia, a film by Nora Ephron that chronicles the life of a food blogger who decides to try the famous “French Chef” Julia Child’s recipes for a whole year. Julia Child popularized French cooking in the early 1960s with her book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, but since then, everyday French cooking has taken a back burner to other food trends. Not only does the movie give hope to food bloggers everywhere, but it may very well bring about a new found interest in French cooking.
Coco Before Chanel – Looking ahead, in late September, Sony Pictures is set to release the life story (or at least the beginning story) of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, the famous French fashion designer. The film has not even been released and already the movie has revitalized a “Coco” favorite – men’s pajamas. Chanel was known for wearing men’s silky pajamas in the early 1900s as her own bold fashion statement. According to the Telegraph, this trend didn’t catch on for nearly two decades when Claudette Colbert was seen wearing Clark Gable’s pajamas in the 1934 film, It Happened One Night. But, Angelina Jolie has revealed that she prefers men’s pajamas for lounging, which I’m sure will not hurt the pajama industry a bit.
As you can see, film-inspired tourism and other trends have definitely made their mark on society, particularly pop culture. Although there’s no telling what next year’s film-inspired movie trend will be, you may want to invest in a pair of men’s silk pajamas for the coming Winter season. Lucky for me, I already have a pair.