‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ Review: A Wearyingly Familiar Trip

The first thing we learn about Amanda (Rachael Leigh Cook) in “A Tourist’s Guide to Love” is that she works for a high-end agency called Tourista World Travel. But nobody in this Netflix film even comments on the fact that “turista” is slang for vacation-wrecking diarrhea. That puzzling choice and its utter lack of consequences are the only surprise in Steven Tsuchida’s film, a rom-com that so scrupulously fulfills every cliché of the genre, it might as well have been devised by ChatGPT.

Amanda is dispatched to Vietnam to check out a small tour company that Tourista is considering buying to develop its market in the area. The assignment is also a good distraction: She was recently dumped by her dull accountant boyfriend, John (Ben Feldman). Going undercover as a regular tourist, albeit an extremely well-prepared one, she’s immediately drawn to the floppy-haired guide, Sinh (Scott Ly). He is the kind of dreamboat who has both abs and sensitivity, and can show Amanda not just his country’s beauty, but how to enjoy life.

Sinh eventually doffs his shirt at the beach and emerges from the water in resplendent slow motion, because the clichés here are as tightly packed in as tchotchkes in a traveler’s suitcase: Amanda is a perky American Type A; village elders are cute as buttons and wise as Yoda; street food is tantalizing; jaded Westerners rediscover themselves as they ditch their phones and bask in a rural experience made only sweeter by the knowledge that it’s temporary. The soundtrack’s catchy Vietnamese songs provide the only fizz in this otherwise flat concoction.

A Tourist’s Guide to Love
Not rated. Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. Watch on Netflix.

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