What is it about a car trip movie that makes for such compelling viewing? Is it the beautiful cars, the changing landscapes or the sheer sense of adventure? Whatever it is, the road trip movie is one of Hollywood’s most enduring genres. Here are our top five.
5. Rain Man
Dustin Hoffman won best actor Oscar in 1989 for his portrayal of Raymond, an autistic savant. Raymond is kidnapped and taken on a road trip to the West Coast by his previously estranged brother, Charlie (played by Tom Cruise), because he is the sole beneficiary of their father’s $3 million fortune. But Charlie soon discovers that Raymond is no pushover.
The film gave us the memorable line, ‘I’m an excellent driver,’ which is repeated to devastating effect by Raymond throughout the trip.
4. Thelma and Louise
When Louise (Susan Sarandon) shoots a man who attempts to rape her friend, Thelma (Geena Davis), the two women embark on a nail-biting cross-country escape from the law, in a Thunderbird convertible. Although a local policeman (Harvey Keitel) is sympathetic to them, the Feds aren’t and the fugitive women find their journey running out of gas in every sense of the term.
The closing scene has gone down as one of the most memorable in Hollywood. The film won the 1992 Oscar for Best Screenplay.
No one expected this low-budget film about two best friends’ adventures in the Californian wine country to be such a runaway hit. But Sideways won both commercial and critical acclaim, including an Oscar in 2005 for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Paul Giamatti plays Miles, a struggling writer who decides to take his best friend Jack (Thomas Hayden Church) on a week-long road trip to the vineyards in California right before Jack’s wedding. Miles wants to drink fine wine and play golf, whilst Jack’s ambitions are more carnal.
The film was credited with boosting sales of Pinot Noir, which was celebrated by its characters. Sales of Merlot, however, were badly hit as this red wine was particularly ridiculed in the film. As for the car – it doesn’t get off too lightly either.
This dark comedy stars ‘Desperate Housewives’ star Felicity Huffman as a man trying to become a woman. His transformation is interrupted by the discovery that he fathered a son years ago. He then embarks on a road trip to find and help his down-and-out offspring. The adventures the two have on the road make for a moving tale of family and self-discovery.
You don’t have to be a car fanatic to enjoy this animated adventure. It stars some of the best known faces and voices in Hollywood and turns a journey of self-revelation into a thoroughly enjoyable adventure.
Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) is a hotshot racing car who’s travelling to California to compete in a prestigious race. On his way he accidentally ruins the main street of a small town called Radiator Springs, and his punishment is to repair the road.
During the film McQueen makes friends with the town’s quirky residents, including Sally Carrera (Bonnie Hunt) – a Porsche 911 – and the wise Doc Hudson (Paul Newman) – a Fabulous Hudson Hornet.
Whether you use your car for epic road trips or the school run, make sure you have the right car insurance policy for your needs.
Gargi Shastri writes for the Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog on a range of topics including car insurance, car safety and other motoring topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys yoga and cooking Indian food.