A Movies Guide to San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and frustrating places I have ever visited. If you didn’t know quite often a thick sea mist rolls into the bay shrouding the Golden Gate Bridge and iconic sites of the city from view. So there’s a blanket of fog (usually during the day when you’re out exploring) between you and the iconic sites you travelled thousands of miles to see. 

I visited the city in 2017, when my family and I did a tour of the West Coast. To date it is our most adventurous, memorable holiday ever. After spending a few days in Vegas where we literally burnt our bacon to a crisp, we flew to San Francisco on a very questionable plane that could double as a small bus with wings. To our deep surprise, San Francisco is freezing during the summer months. We had to buy jumpers. JUMPERS IN AUGUST!

Until you can experience the contradiction that San Francisco has to offer, let’s continue our US tour (see my Netflix guide to NYC here) from your sofa with.. 

Movies Guide to San Francisco 

Mrs Doubtfire (Disney+)

A firm family favourite and how I will always remember Robin Williams, Mrs Doubtfire is as heartwarming as it ever was. After a divorce, Robin Williams disguises himself as Mrs Doubtfire to spend more time with his children. There’s simply nothing like it and nothing ever will be. 

Princess Diaries (Disney+)

You can’t really go wrong with this classic can you? I think we’re all in need of a Grandmother returning to our lives to tell us we’re a princess tbh. I have also eaten a corndog (as they do in the movie) from San Fran and can confirm they’re an odd but excellent invention.

Moneyball (Netflix) 

In the film Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill compile a baseball team by using a new technique to profile, analyse and scout new and undervalued talent. It’s all based on a true story.

San Andreas (Amazon Prime) 

I’m a sucker for an end of the world, natural disaster movie, and this one doesn’t disappoint. The plot centres on an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault devastating Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay. 

Also fun fact for you, every Tuesday San Francisco test their tsunami warning system siren. I cannot even express how much it freaked me out when I was on the tour bus in 2017 blissfully unaware that it was a test siren!

Blue Jasmine (Amazon Prime) 

Cate Blanchett films are a must watch for me. In this film Cate’s character has to leave her rich life in Manhattan after falling on tough times and a breakdown and moves in with her sister (played but the brilliant Sally Hawkins) in San Francisco.

Sister Act (Disney +) 

Both Sister Act films are feel good musicals that will brighten your day and give you a new soundtrack to listen to for the foreseeable future. 

Basic Instinct (Amazon Prime)

In this thriller, a police detective investigates a brutal murder of a rockstar, and begins a relationship with the prime suspect. I don’t want to say too much and ruin it, but watch it, watch it now! 

The Pursuit of Happyness (Amazon Prime)

This is an emotional and powerful film so have some tissues to hand. Will Smith plays a salesman that takes custody of his son as he tries to change his life. It’s based on Chris Gardner’s memoir of the same name on his year of being homeless. 

Ant-Man (Disney +)

Of course I would include a Marvel film in this list. Ant-Man is a hilarious, feel-good, film and the moment we all realised Paul Rudd has aged like a fine fine wine. Also, Michael Peña is just brilliant and one of my fave minor MCU characters.

Always be my Maybe (Netflix)

I love this romcom. Two childhood friends who haven’t spoken in years (after a brief teenage fling) reunite when Sasha returns to San Francisco and opens a restaurant. 

The Five Year Engagement (Netflix)

A wonderful romcom, that came out in the year when all the films summarised their plot in the title along with Man on a Ledge. Emily Blunt is fantastic (as always) and it’s a realistic view of how complicated relationships can be… even when you love each other.

What are your favourite movies based in San Francisco?

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  • Hannah says:

    I love this idea! Especially during a time when one cannot travel to San Francisco, I love the idea of exploring the city through movies instead. Have you personally seen all these movies or did you have to research them? xx

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