Are you too busy and responsible to indulge in Spring Break shenanigans of any sort this year? Maybe it’s been that way for a while. That said, the pressures of the workingman should not preclude having a bit of fun while on the job, especially if that job includes travel or – even worse – infringes on your own travel plans. Cinema is filled with examples of folks working and playing on the road.
GENTLEMAN PREFER BLONDES (1953)
Aside from the odd musical number Lorelei Lee (Marilyn Monroe) and Dorothy Shaw (Jane Russell) don’t appear to be getting much accomplished as showgirls on an ocean liner, unless you count locking down men to be an occupation.
BEVERLY HILLS COP (1984)
Admittedly, Detective Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) headed out west to find out who murdered an old chum — not specifically for R&R. But A) He really made the effort to enjoy Los Angeles, didn’t he? Visiting art galleries, staying at the nicest hotels. And B) Since his sojourn was not technically sanctioned by his superiors, Foley undoubtedly lost some serious vacation time.
JEWEL OF THE NILE (1985)
The first time Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) got swept up in the dangerous affairs of rascal Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), it was by accident in Romancing the Stone (1984). The second time around, the romance novelist was struggling with her next novel, looking for a vacation from her six-month-long vacation with the smuggler. Granted, when she took her next gig with the rich, charming Arab, she probably didn’t suspect he’d be an international jewel thief. But she knew there’d be material for her book.
TOTAL RECALL (1990)
As a frustrated construction worker with a demanding wife, Douglas Quaid (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has zero opportunity to take a little time off. Fortunately for him, in 2048, there’s a company that digitally implants memories — even memories that correspond with Quaid’s repeating dreams of being a secret agent on Mars. Sounds like a totally safe vacay, no? The procedure doesn’t take — or does it take too well? Interplanetary espionage ensues, underscored by a noticeably thick Austrian accent from a man named Douglas Quaid.
PATRIOT GAMES (1992)
Former CIA analyst Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) wasn’t exactly off duty when he ran afoul of a vicious IRA splinter group and caught a bullet for his valor. But considering that his mission in the U.K. was simply to deliver a boring speech to some fresh-faced cadets at the Royal Naval Academy before taking his family sightseeing, there’s no argument that becoming embroiled in a terrorist assassination (and kidnapping) plot ruined his vacation.
GROSSE POINTE BLANK (1997)
Martin Blank (John Cusack) is so good at his job — in-demand assassin — that his assistant figures he can pull off a routine kill while home for his high school reunion. Turns out, nothing shakes a cold-blooded killer to his core like coming to terms with his past. Events get gorier than expected, putting both Blank’s livelihood and loved ones in jeopardy. But, at least, he manages to rekindle an old love affair, which is, according to many a film, the dream scenario for any class reunion.
FEAR & LOATHING IN LOS VEGAS (1998)
For freelance writer Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) and Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro), scamming magazines out of free trips is a job in itself. But nothing is more difficult for the heedless pair than remaining in control of their own faculties while ingesting an obscene amount of psychoactive drugs.
SOMETHING’S GOTTA GIVE (2003)
Harry Sanborn (Jack Nicholson) and Erica Barry (Diane Keaton) are both workaholics. She’s an acclaimed playwright. He runs a hip-hop music label, believe it or not. But, when they meet at Barry’s beach house, mutual attraction ignites despite their respective workloads, Sandborn’s predilection for much younger women — including Barry’s daughter (Amanda Peet) — and their general dislike for each other.
IN BRUGES (2008)
Apparently, killing people can take a lot out of a person. When hitman Ray (Colin Farrell) gets sloppy on the job, he is asked to hide out among the rustic beauty of the scenic Belgium town with his partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson). In Bruges isn’t Sideways. While Ken uses the time off to enjoy the city’s charms, Ray is unable to stay out of trouble for long.
James Brennan’s (Jesse Eisenberg) plans to vacation in Europe the summer after his college graduation are unexpectedly curtailed. Desperate for money, he takes a summer job at his local theme park. From there, the film trades on the irony of just how little amusement there is to be found behind the scenes of an amusement park.
For Samantha Wynden (Whitney Able), an American tourist traveling through Mexico after massive aliens crash land near the border, drinking the local water is the least of her worries. Andrew Kaulder’s (Scoot McNairy) job becomes significantly more complicated when he is tasked with retrieving Samantha, weaving around the footprints and shadows of towering, extraterrestrial behemoths, and returning her safely to the United States.