Did people travel to escape from heartbreak before “Eat, Pray, Love” graced the screens in 2010? Its effect was such that it changed from the name of a movie to a verb for things heartbroken people do after their breakup. I haven’t seen the movie for no other reason than the fact that it was so hyped that it put me off. However, from what little I know of it, I would say that “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” is one of the many pieces inspired by it. Maybe because I watched it when the hype hadn’t caught on yet, I am able to see it for what it is: the story of an impossibly ideal vacation where all the right things happen, and the protagonist falls in love. My cynicism is right when it says that such a thing might never happen in real life, but I still enjoyed the subtle sweetness of the story. It also helped that it was stunning to watch. This is what happens in the movie.
Amanda’s Trip To Vietnam
When Amanda comes to know that, contrary to her expectations, her boyfriend is not going to propose to her but is announcing that he wants to break up because he is moving to Ohio, she is distraught enough to agree to go to Vietnam. Amanda works for a travel company, Tourista, which is thinking of acquiring a tour bus company in Vietnam named Saigon Silver Star. Amanda’s boss, Mona, asks her to book Saigon as a tourist without disclosing that she is from Tourista. The purpose of Amanda’s trip would be to judge whether Saigon is worth acquiring. Amanda agrees to the trip and flies to Vietnam, where she meets Sinh and his cousin Anh, whose father is the owner of Saigon.
Amanda’s trip kicks off with a hiccup, which is cleared soon enough because Sinh “knows a guy.”Seeing the value of connections, one of the notes Amanda makes about Saigon is that they will need the same if Tourista is to operate in Vietnam with any amount of success.
Amanda meets the other tourists, and they all get along really well. She has a planned itinerary, but Sinh tells her that it is not possible to cover everything on it and she should just trust him to show her the best of the country in his own way. Since Amanda is here more to test Saigon than to actually tour Vietnam, she lets go of her rigid plans and decides to see what Sinh has to offer. That turns out to be better than Amanda expected because Sinh really knows how to show his tourists the best the city has to offer. In fact, just for Amanda, he takes her on a detour, and together, they explore the lanes of Vietnam in the night. This is a date and not a tour, and hopefully, Amanda will realize it sooner rather than later.
The group’s trip takes them to a sanctuary in another city, when they find that the Golden Gate Bridge is closed for the day. Exploring such an off-beaten path in Vietnam makes Amanda want the rest of the trip to be the same. That is the moment she completely ditches the itinerary and agrees to follow the Saigon Star’s path. The next stop is Chang Village, where Sinh and Anh’s grandmother lives, who takes an instant liking to Amanda. The group celebrates the Vietnamese New Year with the grandmother and other villagers, all the while learning a new way of life and culture. Sinh’s grandmother asks Amanda what her “intentions” are with Sinh, and she replies that they are just friends. But that status doesn’t last long as Amanda and Sinh kiss on the day of the celebrations when they are out for a walk.
Anh confesses to Amanda that her dad wants to sell the company, and Sinh doesn’t know about it. Considering the recent developments in Amanda’s relationship with Sinh, this makes her feel all the more guilty for hiding her identity. It doesn’t help that when they return to Ho Chi Minh City, John (Amanda’s ex) is waiting for her, and he wants to get back together. Amanda clarifies to Sinh that he is just an ex and that there is nothing going on between them, but she needs time to clear things up with John.
‘A Tourist’s Guide To Love’ Ending Explained: Do Amanda And Sinh Break Up?
When the whole group is out, Anh tells Sinh that her dad sold Saigon Silver Star to Tourista. Hearing this, John forgets that Amanda had asked him to be discreet and reveals that she works for Tourista. This causes Amanda and Sinh to fall out over her lies.
The next day, Amanda and John have an honest conversation, and he reveals that he needs to be in Ohio only until the year’s end, after which they can take their relationship to the next stage. Amanda understands that John has come back to her because she is his safe place, not because he loves her or their relationship. She encourages him to aim for what he wants in life without fear, just as she tries to do the same. Amanda calls her boss and recommends that they keep Sinh to lead the Vietnam operations. Mona agrees, and now it is time for Amanda to tell Sinh what she really feels. Sinh is leaving since he doesn’t know what his place is in the new scheme of things anymore. But he has left a gift for Amanda: the scarf she had previously seen in the market, the one with the phoenix on it. The phoenix represents new beginnings, and it implies that Sinh is wishing her well for the next stage of her life, whatever it might be. This could also mean that all is forgiven between them.
At the end of the movie “A Tourist’s Guide to Love,” Amanda rushes to stop him at the bus stop and, for the first time, crosses the road all by herself, without the green lights or the zebra crossing. When she reaches Sinh, she tells him how the trip transformed her and what being with him means to her. Sinh smiles, knowing that everything is alright and that despite the few hurdles, the magic has happened, and his love has come back to him.
The movie was sweet through and through. Amanda looked stunning, and the music was beautiful. Sinh was also very charming, and travel websites should offer tour guides like that on their itineraries if they want to jack up the prices during peak season. That would make it a fair deal. “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” is a no-stress movie about the simple joy of living life at the moment without constantly preparing for your next move. You may or may not have a list of the top ten places to visit before you die, but if you just want to get a glimpse of the simplicity of perspective it takes to enjoy the here and now, this movie is for you.