Netflix’s A Tourist’s Guide to Love: Is the Movie Inspired by Real Life?

Image Credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

Directed by Steven K. Tsuchida, Netflix’s romantic comedy film ‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ revolves around Amanda Riley, who arrives in Vietnam undercover to evaluate a local tour company named Saigon Silver Star before her company Tourista attempts to buy the same. Amanda accepts the assignment to move on from her recent break-up with John. After arriving in Vietnam, she gets connected to her tour guide Sinh Thach, who develops feelings for her. The heartwarming film explores the changes Sinh brings to Amanda’s life realistically, making one wonder whether the couple’s endearing story is inspired by true events. Well, here’s what we can share about the same!

A Tourist’s Guide to Love is Based on Screenwriter’s Experiences

‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ is partially based on a true story. Although the tour company executive Amanda and tour guide Sinh Thach are fictional characters, their tale is partially based on the real experiences of the film’s screenwriter Eirene Donohue. Like Amanda, Eirene also had to deal with a breakup a few days before setting out to Vietnam for a trip. The screenwriter’s experiences while touring across the Asian country liberated her from the gloom of the separation from her partner the same way it happens to Amanda in the film. Like Eirene, Amanda discovered a new dimension of her own life in Vietnam.

Image Credit: Sasidis Sasisakulporn/Netflix

“I was a wreck for the first week of our [Eirene and her sister’s] trip. But then — as we traveled through the country — I realized that it was the best thing that could have happened. And I learned that although it had been a good relationship and he [Eirene’s ex-boyfriend] was a nice guy, we never would have worked long-term. By the last week of my trip, I was happy to be single. No man for me. I was in love with life!” Eirene wrote about her experience, as per PopSugar. Similarly to the screenwriter, Amanda also makes peace with her break up after realizing that her ex-partner John wasn’t really a compatible match for her.

Amanda’s life gets turned around when she finds love in Vietnam, specifically in Sinh Thach. Eirene also found the love of her life during her Vietnam trip. “On my last week in Vietnam, I met a Canadian backpacker who was very much a free spirit and very adventurous,” the screenwriter told Netflix’s Tudum about meeting her partner during the journey. Like the encounter with Sinh makes Amanda realize that it is fine to step out of her comfort zone, the backpacker named Brad made Eirene realize the same. “It made me realize that I didn’t actually want a safe predictable life. He was supposed to be my holiday fling, [but] we have been together ever since — 22 years,” the screenwriter added.

‘A Tourist’s Guide to Love’ is not Eirene and Brad’s biopic. The screenwriter wasn’t in Vietnam to evaluate a local tour company for her company to buy the same. Nor was Brad a tour guide. But Amanda gaining a new perspective on life, which makes her embrace the unplanned and unexpected, is based on the screenwriter’s own experiences. Furthermore, Eirene’s screenplay focuses on the universality of break up so that the viewers can relate to the same. “I’ve experienced too many breakups in my own life. The idea of restarting your life is a topic that all too many of us are forced to reckon with, whether we like it or not,” Rachael Leigh Cook, who plays Amanda, explained to Tudum in the same interview.

Ultimately, the film is conceived as a lovely tribute to Vietnam, a country that holds a special place in Eirene’s heart. “There are almost no American movies set in Vietnam that aren’t about the trauma of war. It was really important to me to tell a story about life now. One that was full of joy and love and celebration. I wanted to change the conversation about Vietnam, to highlight it as a modern thriving country whose stories are worthy of being told,” the screenwriter added to Tudum.

Read More: Where Was Netflix’s A Tourist’s Guide to Love Filmed?