According to a Harris Interactive Poll of 2,454 U.S. adults conducted online between June 9, 2008 and June 16, 2008, Italy is the most popular vacation destination outside of the United States, followed by Australia, Great Britain (England, Scotland, or Wales), France, and Ireland. Just under half of all adults surveyed (48 percent) would choose a European country for a foreign vacation if cost were not an issue.

Studying the people, culture, language, landmarks, politics, and cuisine of a foreign country makes the journey much easier. Indeed, a trip to Europe has been the premise for many wonderful comedies (and romantic comedies) over the years. The following list provides a few sample suggestions for comedy films to prepare families for visiting these top vacation destinations outside the United States.

Comedy Movies Shot in Italy

Cinema Paradiso (1988) A filmmaker recalls his childhood spent at the village movie theater in this dramatic comedy starring Antonella Attili and Enzo Cannavale.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) Also shot in London and Paris, this sequel to National Lampoon’s Vacation stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Dana Hill, and Jason Lively as the goofy Griswold family that won a trip to Europe from a game show competition.

Comedy Movies Shot in Australia

Muriel’s Wedding (1994) Starring Sophie Lee, Roz Hammond, and Toni Collette in the story of a sheltered woman in Australia who spends her time alone dreaming of her wedding day.

The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) An outrageous comedy about two drag queens and a transsexual performing a cabaret show in a resort town in the Australian desert, starring Terence Stamp, Hugo Weaving, and Guy Pearce.

Comedy Movies Shot in Great Britain

Billy Elliot (2000) Starring Jamie Bell, Jamie Draven, and Julie Walters, a boy from a rough English mining town likes to ballet dance against his family’s wishes.

The Full Monty (1997) Starring Robert Carlyle, Mark Addy, and Tom Wilkinson, six poor, unemployed steel workers form a male striptease act in order to make money.

Comedy Movies Shot in France

Gigi (1958) A musical romantic comedy starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, and Louis Jourdan in a Cinderella story set in Paris.

The Pink Panther (2006) Starring Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, and Jean Reno, a bumbling French detective must solve a case involving a murder and a pink diamond.

Comedy Movies Shot in Ireland

The Commitments (1991) A Dublin soul band works its way up to the top, but not without its share of problems. Starring Robert Arkins, Michael Aherne, and Angeline Ball.

Waking Ned (1998) Starring Ian Bannen and David Kelly, a lottery winner in a small Irish village wins the national lottery and then dies of shock.