“National Lampoon’s Vacation”, “RV”, and “Genevieve” are all road trip movies. The road trip has been a popular movie theme for a long time, even as far back as 1953. Road trip movies all have some standard rules, scenes, and elements which makes all road trip movies similar to each other. Therefore the three rules of a road trip movie are:
1. Never use your regular car
This rule isn’t set in stone but from my observation most of the road trip movies begin with acquiring a vehicle suited for a trip on the road. From Griswold in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” going for that ugly green metallic station wagon to Munro in “RV” getting that equally ugly “Big Rolling Turd” as it was called, getting a new vehicle is crucial. You may already guess that the more hideous the vehicle the better as it will allow for various jokes to be made about it by the screen writers.
However, the vehicle does not always have to be a new one. In “Genevieve”, McKim used his 1904 Darracq for the road trip, which is a rather classic vehicle and again, definitely not a car you see every day.
2. Feuding, Friends, and Family
If a group of people is not in the car, then it is not a road trip movie. Whether they are a group of family or friends is not of importance, just as long as there is more than one person in the car.
The significant thing here is that being in a car for many hours will result in arguments about anything and everything ranging from the selection of music and even singing, to smelly feet or reckless driving. Stress levels will rise in the enclosed vehicular space.
3. Trouble and Breakdowns
Undoubtedly, a road trip car or RV movie means car troubles mainly because you are not using your usual car. Whether it is a flat tire, engine troubles, or not knowing how to fit the waste extractor to the RV, something just has to happen.
The result may be an easy – though not too quick – roadside fix, or else it may be that you’re towed to some isolated garage at which they don’t have the parts and will undoubtedly charge an arm and a leg when they have finished the work.
The nature of the car trouble is not of importance, the whole point of car troubles is to cause added stress, arguments, and many times, a slapstick moment when a person who is not familiar with vehicles attempt to do the repairs.
RV breakdowns are probably one of the chief causes of worries for anyone researching the joy of RVs online. Hopefully viewers of RV movies don’t let the unlikely disaster scenarios that occur discourage them from an RV purchase!