Ben Oliver

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A Tourist’s Guide to Love

I think this trip has changed me.
21 April 2023

A travel agent (Rachael Leigh Cook) is sent undercover to scope out a tour company in Vietnam with a view to acquiring said company, but things get complicated when she falls for the tour guide (Scott Ly).

I’d describe this as formulaic but the lack of jeopardy, stakes or decisions to make for the protagonist does break from the norm. It’s painfully devoid of anything bar lovely shots of the country. She goes to Vietnam, has a great time, nothing goes wrong on the tour, she meets a lovely guy and everything is fine. There’s a tiny twist but it’s so predictable that she casually takes it in her stride. It’s not even a character piece where nothing happens, they are all really boring normal people.

I see this has been labelled a ‘rom-com’ but there is zero attempt at comedy. It’s reasonably light-hearted so I guess it’s not a ‘drama’ but there are no jokes, no funny people and no funny scenes. Why not just have the tour bus break down or something and some shenanigans ensue?

There’s also very little ‘rom’ in this rom-com. The two leads are sort of forced together on this tour, and they are in love because they talk to each other? It’s hard to figure out what the life-changing spark between the two of them is that the script keeps alluding to.

So basic and PG that you could watch it with the sound off. Rachel Leigh Cook has aged bloody well though!

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