Almost 32 years have passed since one of Albert Brooks’ best films was released, and we have come to learn that it actually served as an inspiration for many to change their lifestyles and chase their dreams Easy Rider style. Who hasn’t thought about leaving behind a life filled with stress and routine, including eight-hour shifts, in which dreaming about the weekend becomes the essential hope? Lost in America, starring Brooks along with Julie Hagerty, portrayed how drastically changing your life can bring a series of adventures and challenges your way that, at the end of the day, are worth the while.
Revolving around a couple in their 30s that decide to quit their jobs, get a Winnebago, and travel around their country, being open to whatever may cross their paths, Lost in America is funny and dramatic at the same time. Headed toward unknown destinations and counting solely on each other, the main characters of this film portray the anxiety, fear, and struggle that derive from completely changing your life and deciding to live differently. With the motivation of chasing a dream (not wanting to be transferred to the stressful city of New York) and realizing that the expectations he linked to the life he had as an executive were far from becoming real, Brooks’ character decides to chase a different objective, quits his job, and talks his wife into doing the same thing.
That what the plan that prompted these two to buy a Winnebago and hit the road with enough money to last a long time. That is until, following an unwise move, Hagerty’s character loses their nest egg after playing it wrong. A very funny and memorable moment follows that huge loss as Brooks tries to talk the venue owner into giving them back their money. That, of course, didn’t happen and so they had to find jobs to support themselves, which leads into another series of hilarious adventures. Coming out stronger from these conflictive situations, the couple realizes that they will not be able to go back to the economic stability they had unless they find another solution and so, to the sound of Sinatra, they continue traveling on their Winnebago across the country until they park it in New York. And from the looks of it, it appears that their intention is to make their new life somehow compatible with their previous one.
For those of us who know what life in a camper is and the excitement that comes along with traveling from one place to another and feeling a unique freedom that not many other structures provide, films like, Lost in America will always serve as an inspiration. And though we do, however, hope to make better choices than Hagerty when it comes to turning the wheel, there are useful tips that may guide us to make smarter choices. In the meantime, we will always have this film to watch over again as enjoying the humor, absurdity, and life-like struggles are always inspiring for those of us who live lives on the move.