Set in Vietnam, Netflix’s much anticipated rom-com release isn’t such a bad movie after all
There hasn’t been a whole lot to get excited about in Vietnam over the past few years, what with the pandemic, a deflating economy, slow tourism recovery and, perhaps the worst of all, an increase in the average price of a coffee.
So it’s with no surprise that the April 21 release of Netflix rom-com A Tourist’s Guide to Love, almost entirely set in Vietnam, was eagerly anticipated by local and expat (Can I call them that?) movie buffs alike.
I actually enjoy romantic comedies with women in midlife crises, so I was excited to see thisMel – The Bureau Asia Podcast
For the former, they were keen to see how Vietnam, Vietnamese culture and they themselves would be portrayed, and what glaring cultural faux pas would likely be committed.
For the latter, we were mostly looking forward to how bad it was actually going to be so that we could race to our keyboards, flex our learned cultural muscles by pointing out all the ‘duh’ moments and feel good about it because, after all, it would be under the guise of robust discussion.
We live here Goddamnit! So we know exactly how things go!
But, hold onto your banh mi, this movie isn’t all that bad, although I wonder if the producers spent too much time on trying to simp to the Vietnamese that they failed to pick up on the definition of tourista, the name chosen for the LA-based travel agency Rachael Leigh Cook’s character, Amanda, goes undercover for, to investigate the worth of a potential partnership with the believably-named Saigon Silver Star travel agency in Ho Chi Minh City.
The word tourista I found out when I took a sneak peak at a review earlier in the week to see what I was in for when I would finally sit down to watch the movie over tacos and a Corona (No, I really did), means ‘traveller’s diarrhoea’, especially as experienced by travellers to Latin America.
Yeah, like what the sh*t?!
I hadn’t laughed so much since the time I found out that Mitsubishi had called one of their best-selling vehicles Pajero. I’ll let you look that one up.
And while the cause of my hot and greasy hands that evening couldn’t be put down to the corny simmering chemistry between Amanda and ‘somewhat local’ travel guide Sinh, but rather due to the hastily slapped together tacos in my hands oozing salsa, avocado and yogurt that I juggled on my lap, this movie thankfully didn’t leave me with the Saigon Squirts.
For our full review, listen to it in our latest podcast episode. The review starts at 35’45.