Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s the last long weekend before school lets out in most areas, and because the weather is nicer and the evenings longer, we tend to get together with the people whose company we enjoy most. For those of you hitting the road with your favorite peeps this weekend, here is a list of some favorite road trip movies to get you psyched for the adventure to come.
Thelma & Louise (1991)
Starring Susan Sarandon as Louise and Geena Davis as Thelma, this road trip begins with two friends wanting a break from the everyday. When they stop for a drink Thelma is almost raped and Louise ends up shooting and killing the man responsible. Instead of going to the police, they decide to flee to Mexico. Along the way more crimes are committed, they meet (and are robbed by) the then unknown Brad Pitt, and then there’s that iconic ending.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
In the first of the National Lampoon Vacation movies, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) decides to take his family from Chicago to L.A. in order to visit the Wally World theme park. Clark decides to drive there, rather than fly, in order to spend more quality time with his wife, Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) and kids (played by Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall). Of course, as is the case with all Clark’s ideas, things don’t go quite as planned.
A group of old high school friends Eric (Sam Huntington), Linus, (Chris Marquette) Hutch (Dan Fogler), Windows (Jay Baruchel), and Zoe (Kristin Bell) go on a cross-country trek in order to break into Skywalker Ranch hoping to watch a rough cut of The Phantom Menace so Linus, who has cancer and only months to live, can see the film before dying. Along the way they encounter geekdom gods, trouble, and tests to prove that they are truly fanboys.
A couple for the kids:
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985)
Paul Reubens stars as Pee-Wee, whose adventure begins when his prized bicycle is stolen. A psychic tells Pee-Wee the bike is in the basement of The Alamo, so Pee-Wee begins hitchhiking to Texas in order to retrieve it. Along the way he meets a whole host of characters. “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” was also the debut of director, Tim Burton.
Finding Nemo (2003)
This one is technically not a road trip, but when was the last time you saw a clown fish drive a car? Their fins can’t reach the pedals! When clown fish Nemo (voiced by Alexander Gould) is captured by humans on his first day of school, his over-protective father, Marlin (voiced by Albert Brooks), immediately takes action and sets out to find him. Along his way he encounters Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres), a fish with short-term memory, and she becomes his companion. Meanwhile, Nemo has become the newest addition to a fish tank in a dentist’s office. Marlin, with the help of Dory, becomes the stuff of legend and his tale makes it back to Nemo, who then becomes motivated to attempt an escape of his own.
And because John told me to:
Rubin and Ed (1991)
According to John, he is one of twelve people who have seen this movie. I’d never heard of it, so I went looking for the trailer. It stars Cripsin Glover as Rubin and Howard Hesseman as Ed. Rubin is a bit of a hermit, and lives in his mother’s motel. Ed is a salesman. Rubin’s mother forces her son to find a friend to bring to dinner, so when Ed shows up on his doorstep, it’s kismet. They end up going out to bury Rubin’s dead cat in the “prefect spot,” and this leads them on a crazy, hallucination filled adventure across the Utah desert. It actually looks just strange enough to be good, so I’m going to hunt down a copy and give it a look see.