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Just one month after HBO Max released its first original movie, An American Pickle, the new streaming service’s second flick has dropped: Unpregnant. The comedy pairs Five Feet Apart’s Haley Lu Richardson with Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira on a cross-country road trip that may get you in the mood to check out or revisit more fun movies about a driver, passenger, the road and the miles they put on along the way.
What makes a good buddy road trip film? Above all else, it’s got to be the dynamic the road-trippers bring to screen and the wacky antics they encounter along the way. Check this out:
The newest entry to the buddy road trip film positions the long-winded destination as an abortion procedure in New Mexico that Richardson’s Veronica asks her ex-BFF to drive her to. It's the closest location from Missouri the teenager can make the choice. Unpregnant illustrates a prevalent rights issue heads on, but is most of all a blast of a road trip film about two friends on the opposite sides of the high school hierarchy bonding along the way.
Thelma & Louise
The first road trip film you might think back to after checking out Unpregnant is the ‘90s classic Thelma & Louise, directed by Ridley Scott. Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis star as best friends who have to go on the run from the police after defending themselves from a rapist. They decide to travel from their Arkansas vacation to Mexico after the incident, which sees them becoming fugitives. The pair are hilarious and badass, and the rest of the cast includes Brad Pitt, Harvey Keitel and Michael Madsen.
Rent Thelma & Louise here.
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
Another iconic road trip film is 1987’s Planes, Trains and Automobiles, starring Steve Martin and John Candy. The John Hughes film is a popular Thanksgiving pick since it follows Martin’s Neal who tries to make his way from his business trip in New York back home to his family in Chicago. On the way, he keeps running into Candy’s shower curtain ring salesman (yes, really), who continues to cause him frustration throughout the trip. Watching Martin slowing become enraged and the late Candy relentlessly bother him is one of the most entertaining pair ups in the genre ever. Plus, it's now being remade with Will Smith and Kevin Hart.
Stream it on HBO Max here (opens in new tab).
Dumb & Dumber
If you're looking for a movie to cash in on a brain cell clearance sale, Dumb & Dumber is your movie. And no shade here, the comedy is incredibly clever between Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels in this 1994 slapstick movie. It’s about two not-too-bright ones who drive from Rhode Island to Colorado to return a briefcase full of money to its owner. They have no idea what they are doing and rarely make the right move, but they mean well, and I mean, it’s truly Jim Carrey unhinged. Need I say more?
Away We Go
A buddy road trip movie doesn’t have to be ridiculous or wacky. 2009’s Away We Go is a more grounded take on the genre, as John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph pair up to play an expecting couple who decide to go on a road trip across the U.S. to find the right place for them to settle down and raise their kid. It was one of the first times Krasinski showed off his ability to branch outside his Office roots, and this gem is beautifully directed by Sam Mendes, the director of 1917 and Skyfall.
Little Miss Sunshine
If you’re still in the mood for a road-trip on the endearing side, 2006’s Little Miss Sunshine is one of the best there is. The dramedy follows a quirky family that takes their yellow Volkswagen van on an 800-mile road trip in two days to their little daughter’s beauty pageant because they are strained on money. The road-trippers are an odd mashup of Steve Carell’s depressed brother, Paul Dano’s teen who’s taking a vow of silence and Alan Arkin’s grandpa being the beauty pageant coach for Abigail Breslin’s character's upcoming routine.
A near-traumatizing entry into the buddy road trip is 2001’s Rat Race, a truly bonkers ensemble comedy about a six teams of people who race from Las Vegas to New Mexico to be the first to retrieve a duffle bag full of $2 million. Among the teams are Whoopi Goldberg, Mr. Bean’s Rowan Atkinson, Cuba Gooding Jr, Seth Meyer and Kathy Bates’ squirrel seller. And side note, look out, Breckin Meyer is both in Rat Race and Unpregnant. Two for two!
Following Todd Phillips' success with The Hangover, he teamed up again with Zach Galifianakis for a road trip comedy, which also starred Robert Downey Jr., about another unlikely pair who must go drive long distance together. In order for Downey’s character has to make it to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his child, he has to rely on Galifianakis’ aspiring actor, Ethan. Due Date is chaotic and maybe the most uneven of the list, but seeing the Iron Man actor contribute to the genre with the dryly funny Galifianakis is worth the ride.
Disney recently provided its own entry to the buddy road trip movie with Pixar’s Onward, which is an underrated movie in the animation studio’s collection since its release was soon before theater closures earlier this year. The fantasy stars the voices of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland as brother elves, who race against time to find the stone that will finish the magic spell so they can spend some time with their late father.
Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
We’ll round out this list with another modern road trip classic, 2004’s Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle. Also under the stoner comedy genre, this is a hilarious film about two friends who decide to drive out to a far-away White Castle to satisfy their cravings, though they end up on a crazy trip that now features some of today’s biggest names including Ryan Reynolds, Neil Patrick Harris and Anthony Anderson.
Which road trip are you eager to journey on first? Vote in the poll below and stay here on CinemaBlend for more movie recommendations and news.
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YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.
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