Road Trip Films to Watch

So, I’ve done post about wanderlust novels and a post about wanderlust songs, so now I fancy writing a post about wanderlust films. Or road trip films to be more specific. I’m keen to get a few road trips under my belt: perhaps the full Route 66, maybe around countries such as France or Italy, or even to explore the South American continent. But for now I still enjoy seeing it on screen.

Thelma and Louise


I watched this recently on a long haul flight for the first time ever, and found it pretty ace. I had to stifle my giggles to not wake the sleeping passengers. The titular characters are quite fun: sarcastic at times, naive at other times. I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a feminist film, but their liberation from unadventurous lives is quite uplifting to watch. And a film that captures small town American lives and its open road has a tendency to capture my heart.

Little Miss Sunshine


Road trips don’t just need to be about friends, an uplifting film about a chaotic family just trying to get by and not kill each other is also a good take on road trip films. I remember the first time I watched this film, and found the title had completely misled me. It explores unhappy relationships, depression, unrealised dreams and even death. Yet also has some comedy gems and ultimately is a bittersweet story.

On the Road


I’m obsessed with the novel, so unsurprisingly the film makes this list. I think it does well to capture the carefree, almost destructive adventures of the Beat generation. And even though I’m not a fan of Kristen Stewart’s acting, even she seems to fit the part quite well. Seeing the story told visually it’s not hard to see why On the Road caused so many to want a freer life.

The Motorcycle Diaries


A Spanish-language film that tells the story of Che Guevara when he was a medical student who embarked on a motorbike trip with a friend to explore South America. The film avoids Guevara’s later years which are both admired and controversial Instead his travels show what inspired him to later fight for equality. Instead of a radical, impassioned, brutal leader, he is a youthful, sometimes awkward optimist who envisions helping the downtrodden.

The Blues Brothers


I adore this musical film. It has musical legends, comedy, quirky outfits and a mysterious woman bend on killing the leading characters. The songs are great because they are of the most popular blues and souls songs of the era. The story is simple but well told- get their band back together to raise the money to save the Catholic orphanage they grew up in. But also features annoying some neo-nazis, because why not.

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