It’s hard to ignore that itch to take off with the windows down to some unknown destination – you’ll know it when you get there – with your best friend and the perfect road trip playlist.
Unfortunately, most of us with bills to pay or cats to feed won’t get to take that trip. Instead, we will settle for living vicariously through film.
Here’s a selection of road trip-themed flicks to tide you over until you’re able to sell your house and head for the open highway.
5 The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
If the title alone doesn’t pique your interest, maybe this will: Lord Elrond of Rivendell in drag. This is a wholly unique experience, starring Hugo Weaving, Guy Pearce, and Terence Stamp as drag queens traveling across the Australian desert aboard Priscilla, a lavender motor home, to perform their show at a resort.
If the plot isn’t enough to draw you in, rest assured that the performances from the three leads will immediately draw you into their sequined odyssey.
The characters are simultaneously hilarious and pitiful, each struggling with their own demons, just like the rest of us, except they do it better and in heels.
4 Sex Drive (2008)
You’d be remiss not to include a high school hormone-driven movie in a list like this. Sex Drive stars Josh Zuckerman, Clark Duke, and Amanda Crew as three teens making a cross-country trek to get Zuckerman laid. He plays Ian, a nerdy virgin who has been posing as a beefy jock on the Internet to win the affections of a sexy cyberbabe.
When she suggests they should meet for some extracurricular activities, Ian steals his brother’s muscle car and recruits his best friends to accompany him on his quest.
It’s crude, immature, and Seth Green makes an appearance as a badass Amish guy. In short, you should check it out.
3 The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
No one can create a whimsical and melancholy atmosphere quite like Wes Anderson, and this film is no exception.
Three estranged brothers, played by Owen Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, and Adrien Brody, travel through India by train on a spiritual quest to find themselves and put their family back together.
Darjeeling is a bit darker than the rest of the movies mentioned, but it’s dark in that charming Anderson way.
The characters, with broken lives and broken relationships, are real and funny and recognizable to many of us. That combined with the beautiful Indian backdrop suits the meandering plot. It’s all about the journey.
2 Tommy Boy (1995)
Chris Farley left us too soon, but he was kind enough to leave behind gems like this. He plays Tommy, a recent college graduate – it only took him seven years – who is tasked with saving the family business after the sudden death of his father.
Tommy hits the road, begrudgingly accompanied by his dad’s faithful assistant Richard, played by Farley’s real-life sidekick David Spade.
It becomes apparent very quickly that Tommy has a lot to learn when misfortune after misfortune befall the duo. It’s a wild ride. Literally. There are deer involved.
1 Away We Go (2009)
There is nothing not charming about John Krasinski and Maya Rudolph separately, so you can imagine how overwhelmingly adorable they are together. They star as Burt and Verona, a couple expecting their first child, traveling across the country in search of the perfect place to start a family.
Krasinski and Rudolph are both brilliant comedians, but they bring a surprising amount of serious introspection to their characters.
They’re grownups who haven’t quite grown up yet and with that come to some harsh realizations about life that we can all relate to.
Despite the serious undertones, however, this film is still warmhearted and hopeful.