Road Trip Movies

TMP

Wanderer’s timing has been spooky lately. The Assholes fly out to sunny California today and will be taking a road trip of our own on Sunday along the beautiful Pacific Coast Highway. Perfect time to be thinking of our favourite road trip movies.

thelma and louise

Thelma and Louise (1991)– A road trip to a friend’s cabin in the mountains quickly goes off the rails for Thelma and Louise when Louise shoots an attempted rapist to death before they’ve even reached their destination. The trip goes from vacation to nightmare to something much more as the two realize they wouldn’t go back to their old lives even if they could. Nothing like the life of a fugitive to make you finally feel free.

sideways

Sideways (2004)– I made a deal with myself that I would only pick one Alexander Payne movie this week. As much as I love his last four movies- all road trip movies- Sideways was an easy decision, given that we will be doing a Napa Valley wine tour of our own tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have more fun than Miles (Paul Giamatti), a depressed alcoholic and failed novelist. Sideways is a hopeful but often painful comedy that to this day still makes me feel a little guilty every time I order Merlot.

Due date

Due Date (2010)– Director Todd Phillips and star Zach Galifianakis’s follow-up to 2009’s The Hangover was highly anticipated and very disappointing to many but I have always stood by it. Galifianakis’ Ethan Tremblay and Robert Downey Jr.’s Peter Highman are forced to drive cross-country together after they’re both improbably kicked off an airplane. Both stars play off of each other beautifully and the gags mostly work but what I love is how the story is constructed around what’s going on in the lives of these two men instead of around a bunch of setpieces and jokes. Downey is particularly good as his performance hints at a more real pain than he has been able to manage even in his recent “dramas” like The Judge.

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33 thoughts on “Road Trip Movies

      1. mattasshole Post author

        That does actually and I hope it still is. It’s getting harder and harder to track down movies these days. I’ll report back once I’ve seen it.

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  1. Khalid Rafi

    I always felt Due Date was an inferior rip-off of Planes, Trains and Automobiles. But apart from that, agree with both choices. Sideways is definitely my favorite Payne film.

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  2. Brittani

    I hope you have a good trip! Sideways is awesome. I know I’ve seen Thelma and Louise, but I don’t remember much from it. Due Date I didn’t care for, but your right about RDJ and Galifinaikis having great chemistry.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      We had an amazing trip, thanks! I discovered in LA that Jack Nicholson’s hand is about exactly the same size as my own which will come in handy if ever I meet him and he wants to high-five me.
      Sideways is indeed awesome and came up at least three times on our various wine tours, how Merlot sales dropped forty percent.
      I recommend revisiting Thelma and Louise. I didn’t think it was so special the first time I saw it but it grows on me every time I rewatch it.
      Yeah, I knew Due Date wouldn’t be a very popular pick but I stand by it.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      Thanks, Andrew! Sean and I drank Duff beers and ate Krusty Burgers so, yeah, I’d say we had a wonderful time. 🙂
      Thelma and Louise seems to get better every time I watch it. It’s so… nineties, I guess is the best way to describe it.

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  3. The Knitting Cinephile

    The thing that forever annoys me about road trip movies is that they always seem to go through Monument Valley. There’s one road into and out of Monument Valley, which is on a reservation. And it’s way on the east side of Utah, closer to Four Corners, yet so many movies that travel between Vegas and LA go through it. Pfth,

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  4. Cindy Bruchman

    Due Date was pretty lame, for me, but oh, how I love Sideways! Yes, me too, the guilt when I order Merlot. Everytime I buy a bottle of Pinot Noir, I think of his monologue. Have a great time on the Pacific Highway! Stop for some wine for me. I’ve always wanted to go to Coppola’s vineyards….

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      Sideways came up many times on our wine tours and one tour guide was very quick to point out that Miles didn’t hate Merlot because it wasn’t good. He just hated it because it was his ex-wife’s favouriteI did drink a crazy ammount of wine that day so, yeah, one of them could’ve been for you. We missed Coppola’s vineyard unfortunately.

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  5. joelnox

    Thelma & Louise is a terrific choice, Sarandon and Geena Davis are so perfectly cast. I’ve only seen bits and pieces of Sideways, I’ve always meant to fill in the gaps but my timing’s been off. I find RDJ a noxious jerk nowadays and usually phoning it in but if he’s actually trying here I might have to give this a glance.

    Since you’re hitting the road on your own journey this week I’ll offer up my picks as well:

    The Trip (2002)-The multi decade story of Alan and Tommy, soulmates that are drawn together and pulled apart by love, differing beliefs, fears, secrets and the machinations of others over the turbulent 70’s and 80’s. Low budget (some of the period wigs are beyond terrible), moving comedy/drama, with a better than average cast for something this small-one-time Bond girl Jill St. John is a hoot as Alan’s former showgirl mom, looks at the rise of the gay rights movement, the shame inflicted by Anita Bryant’s hate crusade and the beginnings of the AIDS crisis. The road trip in the film only comprises the final act of the picture but all that comes before is a lead up to that journey.

    The Daytrippers (1996)-A young suburban wife, Eliza (Hope Davis), discovers what seems to be a love note shortly after her husband Louis (Stanley Tucci) leaves for work one morning. Unsure what to do she turns to her mother (the recently departed Anne Meara) for advice who encourages her to drive into the city and get an explanation from her husband. So Eliza, both her parents, her sister and her sister’s boyfriend (Parker Posey & Liev Schreiber) pile into the station wagon and hit the road to the city and so starts an odyssey as they travel from place to place trying to find him and discovering far more than they bargained for. Quirky and engaging.

    The Sure Thing (1985)-Walter “Gib” Gibson is a freshman at a Northern college whose sole desire over his Christmas break is to somehow get to his friend Lance’s college in L.A. where a “sure thing” awaits, a tan, blonde and very young Nicolette Sheridan. Short on cash he answers an ad to share the ride out West which is also being taken by Alison, a classmate who can’t stand him. Once they’re on the road many adventures and calamities come between him and his goal, among them show tune loving drivers, money troubles and unexpected feelings. Engaging comedy made a star out of John Cusack who is quite brilliant in the lead.

    Have a great time on the PCH!!

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      The PCH was a beautiful drive that we did not regret for a minute. I definitely recommend watching Sideways straight through but I’m really getting it this week for picking Due Date so you might want to take my recommendation of that one with caution. I really do stand by it though. I love the dynamic between the two men and all the stuff that’s going on in the background. It’s a nice change from comedies that are just an excuse to feature a few funny scenes that you can stick in the trailer.

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  6. Wendell

    Great, great picks. Love Sideways and Due Date is very underrated. I’ve only seen Thelma and Louise in bits and pieces. Need to give it a proper viewing.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      Thanks, Wendell! I’m especially glad that you enjoyed Due Date. Thelma and Louise is definitely worth a watch from start to finish although through the bits and pieces you’ve seen I’m sure you get the general idea.

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    1. mattasshole Post author

      Right? Right? Due Date is amazing. Thanks, Allie.
      We did have a great trip, thank you. My only regret is not getting involved in a car chase on the hilly streets of San Fransisco. Next time, I hope.

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