Cars in movies are sometimes more than accessories. In fact there is a genre that uses cars as complete characters just like the actors.
The director Jim Jarmusch loves directing Road movies. His last one, Broken Flowers (2005), sees Bill Murray driving on American roads in the search of one of his ex-girlfriends who might also be the mother of his 20 year old son he never heard of before. Driving a rental car throughout America with a mixed tape made by his neighbour, Bill Murray has to face his past and a possible future as a dad. Will he find his son? Find out by watching!
When you think ‘road movie’, one of the most obvious ones is of course Thelma & Louise, directed by Ridley Scott in 1991. Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon), two friends, decide to take a break from their respective lives for a weekend, in their 1966 Thunderbird convertible car. But nothing goes exactly to plan and the two friends become runaways. A classic movie.
Ridley’s brother, Tony Scott, also directed an iconic road movie in 1995. Based on a story by Quentin Tarantino, True Romance is a love story and a road movie, starring Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette. Clarence (Slater) falls in love with Alabama, a call-girl (Arquette), in one night and decides to free her from her pimp. He kills the said pimp and takes Alabama’s suitcase. So he thinks. But instead of her clothes, the case is full of drugs. The mafia is soon after them and the couple drives from Detroit to Los Angeles. Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Val Kilmer and Samuel L. Jackson also join the cast.
Rain Man (1988) doesn’t need any introduction, does it? Starring the amazing Dustin Hoffman (who won an Oscar for the part) and a young Tom Cruise, the journey of those two brothers who hardly know each other is touching and hilarious. First jealous of his brother who inherited the family’s fortune, Cruise will learn to love Hoffman as a brother and you will too.
Shot only in 30 days, Little Miss Sunshine (2006), by Jonathan Dayton & Valerie Faris, tells the story of a family trip from Arizona to California, as the young daughter has qualified for the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest. The family go through a rough and tumble ride before getting to the contest. That movie can make you cry and laugh at the same time, and you will never see a yellow Wolkswagen T2 Microbus the same way as before!
A road movie is not only a journey set in a car: it is the journey of the characters who will have to deal with their emotions and feelings in a confined place. Although some try to escape by driving, they need to face their true self before managing it.