Vacations Gone Wrong

By Lukie Marriott

Doesn't something always go wrong on vacation--the weather, the missed train, the dragon living nearby that you forgot to consider (to paraphrase Tolkien)? These streaming/downloadable movies and eBooks are about vacations that weren't.

  • Skinny Dip: Mick Stranahan Series, Book 2

    2004 by Hiaasen, Carl

    In a hilarious mixture of farce and suspense, Joey Perrone reeks revenge on her tycoon husband Chaz (who is bent on poisoning the Florida Everglades) after he tosses her overboard on what was supposed to have been their wedding anniversary cruise.

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  • 2 Days in Paris


    Julie Delpy debuted as writer, director, star, and composer all at once with this film. An urban comedy featuring culture clash has Delpy and Adam Goldberg bumping into old lovers and sharing meals with Delpy's interfering Parisian family. Both Delpy and Goldberg's characters could use some psychotherapy, which is part of the fun. The sequel, 2 Days in New York, with Chris Rock (on Hoopla) is also very funny.

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  • And Soon the Darkness


    The ominous tone of this movie contrasts with the sunny road two young women cycle down on their tour of the French countryside. Very suspenseful, with creepy characters, this movie had me riveted for the whole two hours. Word of advice: Don't argue with your travel buddy and go off on your own--not a good idea at all!

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  • Le Week-end


    From the director of Notting Hill, a couple married 30 years and seeking to rekindle their relationship return to Paris. He's fussy and practical, she's adventurous and a bit cruel. Truths emerge, nerves are frayed, but there are moments of delight, too, and the movie ends with the suggestion of hope.

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  • Swimming Home: A Novel

    2012 by Levy, Deborah

    This novel was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. It is the dark, engaging story of two couples on vacation at a villa in Nice, France, when the mysterious appearance of an unstable young woman upends everything. The New York Times says of the novel, "the tone and the milieu suggest an improbable hybrid of Virginia Woolf, Edward St. Aubyn, 'Absolutely Fabulous,' and Patricia Highsmith."

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  • Summer House with Swimming Pool: A Novel

    2014 by Koch, Herman

    If you are familiar with The Dinner (book and movie), you will know that a novel by Dutch author, Koch, isn't going to be a frothy read. In this one, a couple and their teenage daughters are vacationing on the Mediterranean when a tragic and violent incident occurs. It becomes clear that no one is trustworthy. This one may keep you tied to your lawn chair!

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  • Adventureland


    This is a different sort of vacation gone wrong. James's summer interim trip to Europe falls through when his parents can no longer pay for it. Needing money, he's stuck working at an amusement park instead, with a motley group of people. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart's characters have their problems, but recover sweetly in this satisfying film.

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  • Tucker and Dale vs Evil


    When five college students on a camping trip come across two "redneck hillbillies"--two affable guys spending a weekend fixing up a cabin--they jump to conclusions, and everyone starts acting like they're in a horror movie. Inevitably, things get bloody. Combining the yucks with the yucky, this directorial debut movie won lots of audience and indie awards.

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