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Top 5 Road Trip Movies

Updated on August 4, 2011

The “Road Trip” movie falls under one of those categories that can only be expressed with an epic journey; hence, the road trip. The majority of road trip movies are light hearted and packed with funny scenes which make them one of my favorite sub-genres of movies.

This is my list of the top five road trip movies worth watching.

Little Miss Sunshine

Little Miss Sunshine is a classic “coming-of-age” story but with a big twist because this movie has a lot of dark humor undertones and moments that will definitely make you feel uncomfortable at times.

The movie is about a young girl that is trying to win the Little Miss Sunshine contest and must travel to California. Along the way, each of the characters develops and you see just how dysfunctional the family truly is from the unhappy teenager to the grandfather that’s hooked on heroin. Each of the characters is odd and makes you feel uncomfortable at times but you begin to identify with them along the journey as the family runs into many troubles and setbacks along the way.

In my opinion, Little Miss Sunshine is a “must watch” movie; it’s hilarious in so many ways but it also has moments that really hit you hard. You won’t know whether to feel sorry for a character or laugh at the ridiculous situations they’re in.

Road Trip

The premise is simple: a video tape was taken of one of the main characters getting frisky with a girl but he actually has a girlfriend already. By accident, the tape was sent to the girlfriend which launches the road trip to race to the college before the tape arrives.

The movie is quite funny; it’s not a cinematic masterpiece but it’s effective at getting the job done which is to make you laugh. Along the way, there are many mishaps and run-in’s with characters that lead to hilarious discussions and cringe worth moments.

In my opinion, Road Trip is one of those perfect pop corn movies that you watch every few years with your friends around. The film isn’t wild and crazy but it’s definitely worth watching for the laughs.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is John Hughes at his finest (director of Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club). Steve Martin and John Candy are at their prime, delivering one of the most quintessential road trip movies to date.

Steve Martin sets out to return to Chicago for Thanksgiving and is quickly joined by John Candy; from there, everything seems to go downhill. Along the way, every type of mishap seems to plague the journey and turns the short trip into a three day long adventures spanning across all kinds of transportation (hence the name).

In my opinion, if you want to see two comedic geniuses at their finest than you want to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles. John Hughes really showed how he was the master of 80’s comedies by putting together this gem; definitely watch it.

National Lampoon’s Vacation

When you hear the name National Lampoon, there are two movies that should immediately come to mind: Animal House and Vacation. In recent years, National Lampoon has gone downhill but prior to that, there was Vacation which is comedic gold and perfect for this list.

Again, John Hughes is at work here by writing the screen play and none other than Harold Ramis (Ghosbusters) is behind the director’s chair. In lead cast, Chevy Chase is captured at his prime and brings the ruckus in humor throughout the entirety of this film.

The Griswolds are dead set of going to Walley World; a very large theme park. As you can expect, the journey doesn’t go all that well for the family with plenty of awkward situations and comedic moments that will have you laughing.

In my opinion, Vacation should definitely be one of those movies you watch every few summers because it really captures that moment in time when your parents rounded everyone up to set out on a road trip; you identify with the movie even when it’s having its comedic jabs.

Dumb and Dumber

Easily a fan favorite of the Road Trip genre of movies, Dumb & Dumber is wildly hilarious and has Jim Carrey in one of his best comedic roles.

The premise is an odd one: a woman (Mary) leaves behind her briefcase at the airport Jim Carrey’s character (Lloyd) drops here off at which creates a series of events in which Lloyd and his friend, Harry, must return the case to her in Aspen. Along the way, the characters keep running into trouble but with the flare and hilarity that only Jim Carrey can provide.

In my opinion, Dumb & Dumber isn’t just one of the best road trip movies but one of the funniest movies of all time. Every scene is unforgettable and you’ll be quoting the movie for years on end. If you want to laugh your butt off and have a good time than pop in Dumb & Dumber, for real.

What is your favorite road trip movie?

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    • profile image

      ruffridyer 6 years ago from Dayton, ohio

      I enjoyed Fanboys. A group of friends head out to the Lucas ranch to see the star wars movie Phantom Menace, before it is released. One of them is ill and will not be alive by the time the movie is released.

      The movie is both sad and funny.

    • BabyGearGalore profile image

      BabyGearGalore 6 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Good Picks!

    • KristenGrace profile image

      KristenGrace 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Little Miss Sunshine is one of my favorite movies, and I agree that Dumb and Dumber is always good for a laugh. Nice choices!