A pushy, narcissistic filmmaker persuades a Phoenix family to let him and his crew film their everyday lives, in the manner of the ground-breaking PBS series "An American Family". However, ... See full summary »
David and Linda Howard are successful yuppies from LA. When he gets a job disappointment, David convinces Linda that they should quit their jobs, liquidate their assets, and emulate the movie Easy Rider, spending the rest of their lives travelling around America...in a Winnebago! (This is a kind of large, luxurious mobile home which suits a 1980's yuppie more than the counterculture dropout approach of Easy Rider.) His idealized, unrealistic plans soon begin to go spectacularly wrong. Written by
This brilliant comedy is the best-ever showcase for Albert Brooks's comic genius, as a writer, director, and actor. His satire is well pointed and his delivery of dialogue is uniquely inflected and hilarious. Most of the scenes are nothing more than confrontations between him and another character, but they are nicely varied and impeccably played: Brooks's manic unraveling in front of his boss as he quits his advertising job; Brooks trying to convince Gary Marshall (as a Vegas casino executive) to give him his lost money back; Brooks explaining the "nest egg principle" to Julie Hagerty (as his wife) after she has blown their life savings at roulette; Brooks's interview with a cynical small town job counselor; Brooks as a crossing guard taunted by obnoxious pre-teens on bicycles (the funniest such scene since W.C. Fields); Brooks's telephone conversation with a supercilious Mercedes salesman; Brooks applying for a job as a drug store delivery boy (he plans to use his Winebago); Brooks's incredulous meeting with Skippy, his wife's 19-year-old new boss at a fast food joint. Well, you get the idea. It's a tour-de-force for Brooks, and an unsung comic masterpiece.
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