5 Movies That Were Filmed in London’s Streets
I’m going to resist the urge to add the Harry Potter films very obviously to the top of this list. We all know that the series famously made use of the streets of London to come into existence; as have so many more great works of the big screen.
These five movies are must sees, if you ask me; especially if you have a pending trip to London Town in the near future.
1. The Parent Trap
Nancy Meyers – 1998
I’m not sure it’s possible to have lived in the western world during the 90s and to have not seen The Parent Trap.
This was the film that put Lindsay Lohan into the spotlight for the first time. She iconically played the role of both main characters; twins, who were separated at birth by their divorced parents and unexpectedly reunite at a summer camp when they are 11 years old.
The camp is in America; one twin lives in California with her dad (played by Dennis Quaid), while the other grew up in London with her mom (played by Natasha Richardson).
The twins switch places and go home to the wrong locations. We follow one back to London where she experiences British culture for the first time and ventures around the city center eventually to her mom’s fashion studio.
Without giving too much away, this is a great teaser film to get you into the London spirit. Not to mention the soundtrack is considered a timeless masterpiece; Nat King Cole, John Sebastian and George Harrison to name a few of the featured artists.
2. Bend it Like Beckham
Gurinder Chadha – 2002
Another movie that broke us all into the 2000s with a memorable piece of British cinema.
This was Keira Knightly’s turn to shine, playing a successful female football player growing up in a small town somewhere in London. One day while jogging, she encounters another woman playing soccer with some boys in the park.
Jess is her name; an Indian girl from a conservative, traditional family who will not support her pursuing her footballing dreams. She proceeds to play in secret, finding great success in the process.
We venture with the girls through London, even watching them embark on a shopping spree in the famous West End at a stage.
This is somewhat of a coming of age film about pursuing one’s dreams, falling in love and navigating the very tricky dynamics when it comes to family.
3. About a Boy
Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz – 2002
The same year that gave us Bend It Like Beckham, also gave us the wonderful About A Boy.
Does “killing me softly” ring any bells? It should. This movie sent this track around the world when it featured in one of the final scenes in the film in a glorious yet mortifying display between ‘father and son’.
Will is not Marcus’ father, on the contrary, more like a surrogate big brother in many ways. They find themselves unbreakably bound after in incident in the park that leads to Will trying to get Marcus home to his mother in London, only to find her passed out on the floor of their house having swallowed a bunch of pills.
She survives, but Marcus clings to his newfound mentor in search of the light and love he never had. It all works toward an eventual school talent show performance during which the mentioned song is performed in a very embarrassing way.
I love this movie particularly because it explores Christmas time in London. You’ll see the very festive streets and markets that come to life all over the city during late November through December; a really nice warm up for anyone who will be heading to the English capital for their festive season.
4. The Bourne Ultimatum
Paul Greengrass – 2007
The Bourne Ultimatum was presented to us later on in the 2000s. It is actually based on the novel with the same name, written by Rupert Ludlum.
This is the third movie in the Jason Bourne film series; Matt Damon plays the lead in all of them, a psychogenic amnesiac and former CIA assassin searching for answers, perpetually.
He is curious about his past; about events he has no recollection of and would like to figure out. His hunt leads him to London, where he meets with a journalist in London’s Waterloo Station.
This meeting turns into a bit of a goose chase, and London becomes the agent’s playground. This third installment in the Bourne series is widely considered to be the best of them all. You can be the judge of that.
5. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Sharon Maguire — 2001
Just one year before About A Boy and Bend It Like Beckham, the world was given the very important gift that is Bridget Jone’s Diary.
Another film about transformation and self growth, but done in a hilarious way that you’ll find irresistible. Renée Zellweger plays Bridget Jones, a 32 year old woman who has decided to take charge of her life and make some changes.
She begins keeping a diary and documenting her life living and loving in London.
A symphony of embarrassing moments, incredible introspection, self love and life in the city of London. A true must see if you have not yet already.
While watching London on screen is one way to see the city, taking a guided walking tour through the actual streets is another. Book your spot today and see these filming locations in the flesh.