As escapism goes, there’s nothing quite like a road trip movie.
They not only transport us somewhere far away, but the fact that the scenery and situations are as new to the protagonists as they are to us makes it all the more easier to imagine we’re right there behind the wheel, hitching a ride, on the road.
They hold a special fascination for drivers because they resonate with our sense of freedom. That however bad things might get, we can always drive away.
It always boils down to this idea, which film critic Jason Julien-Connage of Tales From The Argo sums up as: “Man has a problem, man goes on the road to solve said problem, no matter the outcome, man is irreversibly changed by the very journey itself.”
From a life of ennui to a world of possibilities, road movies have all the ingredients you need for a fantastic adventure. The locations, of course, the rush of heading for the unknown, the devil-may-care shrug when things don't go to plan, and that promise that the most colourful characters you’ll meet on your journey are still yet to come.
As much as it is about the trip, for many lovers of the road, it’s also about the mode of transport. “One of my favourite road trip films is 'National Lampoon's Vacation' because the car is almost a character itself,” says Ryan Brown of The Movie Blog. "It becomes battered and worn from the journey just like the family.”
“The borderline personification of the car falls in line with the key to a road trip film's success – which is to focus on the journey and have it be the mechanism that influences the characters."
Rev up your engines and get ready to hit the road, Jack (and Jill). The road ahead is wide open…