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Waking Up in Reno (2002)

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A romantic comedy about two trashy couples traveling to Reno to see a monster truck show.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darlene Dodd
Doc Tuley
Lonnie Earl Dodd
Candy Kirkendall
Lonnie Earl III
Galvin Chapman ...
Lane Dodd
Kelsey Chapman ...
Lacy Dodd
Fred Bush
Russell Whitehead
Aszue Wilson ...
Mini-Mart Cashier
Hody Porterfield ...
Hodie at the Big Texan
Waitress at Big Texan


Roy & Candy and Lonnie Earl & Darlene are two married couples who thought they knew one another, until they decided to take their dream vacation together. Hitting the road in a brand-new SUV, they're having the time of their lives until something funny happens on the way to the Monster Truck Show in Reno. Turns out Lonnie Earl has a thing for Candy, and when evidence of this starts to surface, things really start to heat up. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This outrageous road trip really heats up! See more »


Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual content | See all certifications »


Official Sites:



Release Date:

13 December 2002 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Acordar em Reno  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$108,930 (USA) (25 October 2002)


$261,603 (USA) (15 November 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were both at one time attached to star in this, but dropped out prior to filming. See more »


When the group begins driving from Arkansas to Reno, they are seen near an exit sign for De Valls Bluff and Biscoe, Arkansas. This exit sign is on I-40 east almost halfway between Little Rock and Memphis, thus they were heading in the wrong direction for Reno. See more »


[first lines]
Darlene: You know, relationships can be a lot like a loaf of bread. At the beginning they're hot and fresh and you can always get a rise. But with time, if you don't knead them carefully, they grow old and stale. Now I know that life ain't no Easy Bake Oven. With the kids and my husband's job, it's almost as if we've forgotten to add the yeast. So I'm hoping the trip to Reno with our best friends, Candy & Roy, will be just what the doctor ordered.
See more »


References 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) See more »


Stickshifts and Safetybelts
Written by John McCrea (as John Mc Crea)
Performed by Cake
Courtesy of Volcano Entertainment II, LLC
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User Reviews

A Worthy Roadside Attraction
16 August 2001 | by (Author of Staci's Guide to Animal Movies) – See all my reviews

Wakin' up in Reno refers to more than just the alarm clock when two married couples take a road trip -- and an unexpected emotional detour -- from their home town of Little Rock to the "Biggest Little City in the World" for a monster truck rally. Roy (Patrick Swayze, "Forever Lulu") and Candy (Charlize Theron, "Sweet November") tag along with their best friends Lonnie Earl (Billy Bob Thornton, "The Gift") and Darlene (Natasha Richardson, "Blow Dry"), picking up a brand new SUV from the dealership that Lonnie Earl owns, and head off for the wild blue yonder. They're armed with a AAA Trip Tik, which is animated onscreen from time to time as we follow the bouncing auto from point to point on its way out west. Along the way, they stop at a few roadside attractions -- but only the ones Lonnie Earl wants to see, because he's got to keep to their schedule. This is very important to him, even after he eats a 72-ounce steak and winds up in the emergency room. Meanwhile, Candy is ovulating and Roy's got to accommodate her whenever her temperature drops to that magic number. Little does he know, Lonnie Earl may have already planted his seed before they left home. Lonnie Earl's wife, Darlene, doesn't know either -- but you think she might not care, as she hasn't let her husband touch her for the past two years.

This is a pretty simple story and there isn't a lot going on, but it's well directed, and particularly well written and well acted. It all comes together beautifully, and the four actors are completely believable in their could-be country caricature roles. Lonnie Earl's got the Van-Dyke look going on, complete with snakeskin cowboy boots and his faux snakeskin shirt, and Darlene starts off bumpkin-geek with her overalls and badly bleached hair. She later goes babe-chic when she takes the cheating Lonnie Earl's credit card, raids the expensive designer boutiques, and treats herself to a Tony Orlando concert. While none of the characters have especially good qualities, the actors who portray them make them likable and relatable.

While the subject matter is serious, Wakin' Up In Reno is played (mostly) for laughs, and there are plenty of them. It's too bad it's only getting a limited release, as this is one of the smartest, funniest adult comedies I've seen in awhile.

7 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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