Just yesterday we did a short road trip from St.Louis to Kansas City, a 4 hour drive, to take part in the Diwali celebrations and watch the fireworks in the temple. It was a nice trip with some of us enjoying the music in the front seat, while guys in the backseat were playing cards. We had our stop-overs for food and drinks. But what we did not have is crazy fun because we did not have an Ethan Tremblay who would stopover for marijuana and spend all the money on drugs rather than money for gas or take his dog Sonny around in his lap or sleep on the wheels and fly off the freeway or drive into Mexico border mistaking it to be Texaco.
The movie has all the elements of any road trip, but it has the zaniness which very few movies have. Robert Downney Jr as Peter Highman and Zach Galifianakis as Ethan Tremblay are people from two different worlds; one is a suave handsome gentleman and the other a slob, sloppy and mindless buffoon. Both of them get on to the plane for LA, then why the road trip? That in itself explains what comical situations have been weaved into the movie.
Ethan: My father always had a saying “When a day starts like this it’s all uphill from here”.
Peter: Uphill? No, it’s all downhill from here.
Ethan: But nobody wants to be down, everybody wants to be up. It’s all uphill from here.
Peter: But it’s easier to go downhill. So your dad had no idea what the fuck he was talking about.
This is a fine example of what their conversations are like, and the difference of opinion. Its 90 minutes of fun ride, with nice touches of emotional sequences. In fact, the movie begins on an emotional note. Peter’s wife is pregnant and her due date is in a few days while Ethan has to bid goodbye to his dead father’s ashes. And both are forced into staying together for a cross-country drive from east to west, Atlanta to LA. How the emotional start turns into a howlarious movie is fabulous, sometimes amounting to black comedy.
By the end of the movie Peter ends up with a fractured arm, bullet in the abdomen, torn shirt and trouser, banged up face while Ethan is scratch-proof, still bubbly and sloppy and a little more mindless than he was at the beginning of the movie.
The strange thing was that after the movie got over, we first couldn’t locate our car. After we located it, the GPS was conked and we could not get directions to find an eat-out. Actually, the map in the GPS was not updated and some new roads were constructed. Hence, we were lost. Then blackberry cell came to our rescue with all the maps and directions. This was probably the perfect way to end our day after a wonderful movie about a road trip. Let me end this with words of wisdom from Ethan: You better check yourself before you wreck yourself.
Enjoy the movie, its a great watch.