Lost in America is an American comedy film that was released on the 15th of March 1985. It was produced by The Geffen Company and distributed by Warner Bros. The story of the film which centres on a married couple who leave their jobs and embark on a trip across America, was co-written by Monica Johnson and Albert Brookes.
Albert Brooks not only co-wrote Lost in America, he also directed the film and starred in it alongside Julie Hagerty. All in all the film grossed $10 179 000 at the box office.
The Films Reception and Awards Won
Lost in America was not a major blockbuster but it was a commercial success. Mostly positive reviews were received and Rotten Tomatoes rated it at 95% based on just over 20 reviews. The film made into Bravo’s top 100 funniest films ever landing at number 80 and reached number 84 in AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Laughs in 2000.
The screenplay by Monica Johnson and Albert Brooks won 2nd place at the New York Critic’s Circle Awards in 1985 and 1st place at the National Society of Film Critic’s Awards in 1986.
A Basic Synopsis of Lost in America
Lost in America is about a married couple David and Linda Howard, who are the quintessential yuppie couple residing in Los Angeles. David is employed at an advertising agency and Linda works at a department store. David is passed over for a promotion which he had been counting on and after insulting his employer he is fired. He then convinces Linda to resign from her job so they can embark on a new adventure.
The couple sell their house and liquidate all of their assets. They then leave their lives and Los Angeles behind them in a Winnebago with a nest egg of over $100 000. Their plan of travelling across the country goes awry when Linda gambles away all of their savings on a roulette game in Las Vegas at the Desert Inn. With nowhere to go and no money left, the married couple end up in a small town in Arizona. Having to look for work, Linda ends up working as an assistant manager at the local Der Wienerschnitzel under a manager who happens to be half her age. David on the other hand is unsuccessful at finding employment and ends up making use of an employment agency who find him work as a crossing guard where he is daily taunted by school children.
Making Reference to Easy Rider
Lost in America has a familiar theme to the cult classic Easy Rider and has scenes that make reference to the film. When the couple are leaving Los Angeles in the Winnebago the song Born to Be Wild is played which is the theme song of Easy Rider. When they are pulled over by a cop for speeding David refers to Easy Rider in explanation of his new adventure which appeals to the cop’s memories of Easy Rider which happens to be his favourite film. The cop then tears up the speeding ticket and lets them go on their way.