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  • Lost In America is one of those movies that I always meant to see, but never remembered to rent. A few weeks ago, I finally got a chance to see it, and I loved it.

    Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty are perfect as the classic yuppie couple that decide to set out on the open road after a series of strange circumstances. Brooks' rave-out on his boss at the beginning of the film is priceless, as is his interaction with the unemployment office worker in the midwest... "I'll just check my $100,000 a year job file." Brooks is also great when he tries to reason with the casino owner, and arguing with Hagerty over her inability to use the words "nest" and "egg". "From now on, birds live in ROUND STICKS!!!, for breakfast, you will have THINGS over easy!!!!"

    Most of the best dialogue and scenes are delivered from Brooks, but Hagerty is quite good as well, as the timid wife whos honest, yet HUGE blunder sets the tone for the rest of the film.

    My only complaint is that it seemed about a half hour too short. When they decide to return to New York, I would've allowed one more wacky situation on the way back home, but it was not to be. It left me feeling that the ending was a bit rushed. But this is a minor complaint from a great film that deserves to be seen over and over.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    **Possible Spoilers**Without question, Albert Brooks is the absolute master of subtle humor. In `Lost In America,' the writer-director-star weaves an hilarious tapestry that is no less than a paean to an entire generation of Yuppies. When David Howard (Brooks), the creative director for one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, fails to get the promotion he's `waited his whole life for,' he quits his job (`Well, I got fired, but it's the same thing–'), then convinces his wife, Linda (Julie Hagerty), to do the same. They then proceed to sell their house, liquidate all their assets (`We got a ride on the inflation train you would not believe,'), buy a thirty-foot motor home and drop out of society in order to `find' themselves. Patterning himself after the guys in `Easy Rider,' David's plan is for them to set off across America, to `Touch Indians, see the mountains and the prairies and all the rest of that song,' and they leave Los Angeles with a new motor home, a substantial nest egg and an anxious sense of adventure. It all soon goes awry, of course, and what follows are some of the funniest scenes you'll ever see in an intelligent comedy. Among the most memorable are the ones with Michael Greene (As David's boss), when he informs David that instead of a promotion he's being transferred to New York to work on their latest acquisition, Ford (`We got trucks, too.'); one with Garry Marshall (As a casino manager in Las Vegas); and finally, the scene in which David explains the concept of the `nest egg' to Linda, which has to be, historically, one of the classic comedy scenes of all time. The solid supporting cast includes Tom Tarpey (Brad Tooey, the `bald-headed man from New York'), Ernie Brown, Art Frankel, Charles Boswell and Joey Coleman. Written by Brooks and Monica Johnson, `Lost In America' is a timeless comedy classic that can be enjoyed over and over again. I rate this one 10/10.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It started out with such promise. I love Brooks' humor. Most people I know don't, but the idea that this yuppie was going to engineer a "find yourself" tour of America for himself and his unwilling wife in a Winnebago held out the promise of a rich minefield of comedy to come. After Julie Hagerty's character loses the entire nest egg in their first stop in Vegas, I couldn't watch the movie anymore and I walked out by the time they got to the Grand Canyon.

    I don't know if it was just my disappointment at Albert Brooks' use of such an obvious situational device as the loss of all the money to set up the rest of the film, or my own sense of unquenchable murderous rage at the wife for having been so weak and stupid to lose every dime and completely undermine the rest of their lives, but I could not watch another frame of this movie, and have not gone back to it to this day. Once you lose heart, once you can no longer maintain the willing suspension of disbelief, you are through with a film. "Defending Your Life" was so brilliant. This was just awful.
  • Albert Brooks and Monica Johnson have fashioned in their Lost in America screenplay a spot-on portrait of upper middle class malaise and its correspondent affluence atrophy -- and skewered it all with perfect vignettes of accomplished comic finesse. Most fans of this film -- and it certainly has a cult following -- will gleefully cite scenes ranging from the legendary "nest egg" speech to the job service interview as examples of terrific comedy, and I wholeheartedly agree: Lost in America is very funny. Brooks, who not only co-wrote the film but also stars and directs, only falters a bit when it comes to the overall pacing (I thought the section that opens the film spends too much time in Los Angeles before the couple decides to head out for the open road), but this is a minor complaint. Most of the time I am laughing too hard to point out any flaws.
  • Who said Albert Brooks is an acquired taste? After watching "The Muse," which until this day remains the FUNNIEST comedy I've ever seen, I've been curious about Brooks's work. Since this had its place on the AFI's funniest comedies of all time, I decided I'd check it out.

    Though I didn't feel this was quite as funny as "The Muse," Brooks delivers his trademark sarcastic comic gags. It's hilarious to watch Brooks, a yuppie businessman who just quit his job, try to apply for a job among the lower class. Asking if there are any "executive positions."

    Brooks has the best timing among all the comic actors. His style of delivering his brilliantly sarcastic dialogue is impeccable and almost never fails to crack me up! Brooks's movies are not only funny, but they're well-written. Lots of the time comedies move on the sheer energy of the cast. In his films, the writing alone is energized enough and the cast adds to that energy. Brooks and Julie Hagerty have an incredible chemistry, and their conflicts are absolutely hysterical. "From now on, you will never be allowed to use the words 'nest' or 'egg' ever again!" That's a line I will always remember. Brooks has that memorable, unique style of writing that I'm sure comedy writers everywhere will either acknowledge thoroughly or try to imitate (unsuccessfully, of course).

    One thing I just cannot understand is the R-rating. Brooks, being one of the few tasteful, intelligent comedy writers in the biz, rarely uses profanity in his movies. Only twice do we hear the "f" word, and for the right reasons (He was angry at his boss for God's sake!). I'm well-aware that the PG-13 rating wasn't invented when the movie came out, but "Sixteen Candles" used the "f" word twice and got away with a PG, as well as a shower scene involving a female and a notorious close-up of her breasts. Don't expect anything filthy in this movie, because of the stupidly-awarded R-rating. Brooks doesn't sink that low.

    For all those who appreciate good, intelligent humor--an escape from cheap slapstick and gross-out gags. Not that I don't appreciate that type of humor ever, but this is REALLY what comedy is all about!

    My score: 7 (out of 10)
  • mcfly-3127 December 2009
    Mild chucklefest about a bored ad exec approaching 40 who talks his wife into abandoning their jobs for life on the road. Your typical Albert Brooks offering, which of course, is not for all tastes. Some can take to his light style of humor like addicts to coke, while others will scream how mediocre this film is to be held up as an example at screen-writing classes.

    Most of Brooks' humor in his films come from his characters being utterly flummoxed by life or his grinny observations about everyday people. You get that usual array here, but unlike some of his other efforts, this Brooks screenplay seemed oddly malnourished. He gets caught up in this whole "Easy Rider" nonsense and places the film's more humorous and intriguing moments at the front. The business with Hagerty and the casino happens so quickly, that it a) uses the best device too fast, and b) seems too out of character for her. Brooks needed more time spent on the road meeting goofy locals and emptying his RV's chemical toilet that would eventually prompt Hagerty to do what she does early. And therein lies the film's bigger problem: they only really have one predicament. Once they hit their financial nadir, they look for jobs, work them for one day, and the film ends with a cop-out minutes later.

    Sorry to forward-project, but I was a GREAT admirer of Brooks' "Defending Your Life". It had his usual breezy, near lulling atmosphere on display, but with the life-after-death exploration as a great backdrop, that filmed worked better. "Lost in America" just sort of coasts along with random vignettes before breaking down at the side of the road.
  • After reading the reviews I couldn't believe that there are people that found this movie boring. To me it has some of the best dialog in any movie.

    Favorite scene? hard to pick, but probably when Albert Brooks comes down to the casino in his bathrobe looking for Julie Haggerty and finds her chanting..."22,22,22,22." When asked how down she is she says "Down." When asking the casino operator how down she is he says "Down."

    Another player says "She really likes 22"

    I have seen this movie over and over again and it just keeps getting funnier each time I see it. I am a big Albert Brooks fan, Defending your life is very good and Real Life is also a favorite.

    If you like dry humor and great dialog see this one for sure!
  • Albert Brooks is a wonderful talent, somewhat of a Woody Allen offshoot, and his script writing is witty and has just the right amount of offbeat humour to it.

    The film has a great premise, and the characters are realistic and sympathetic enough to retain attention, but it moves too fast and feels underdeveloped. It starts out with Howard (Brooks) established as a moderately successful advertising executive, who with his managerial wife, plan to put a down payment on a 400k house. But the corporate lifestyle has sapped some of the excitement out of both their lives, and before divorce proceedings set in, they hilariously quit their jobs and set out on the open road to find themselves. And along the way they bring the 'nest egg'.

    Unfortunately, things don't go as planned, and the soul searching quickly becomes a trip through hell. With each quagmire the couple finds themselves in, Brooks' character hilariously pleads with the people he sees as obstacles to their luck. The film is built around 3 or 4 of these lengthy, seemingly improvised sketch scenes, and is what provides most of the entertainment apart from the scenario. But after the main twist and conflict happens, the film loses steam and the hijinx quickly dissipitate until the film deflates at the end.

    Little soul searching actually occurs, and the film has a realistic, but disappointing ending after much of the build up to their quagmire. The ending just isn't what was promised after the dark hilarity of misfortune that preceded it. The characters feel annoyingly self entitled at first, and start to grate, but the writing and short running times keeps things feeling fresh long enough to want to finish.

    Worth watching just for Brooks.
  • "Lost In America" is a subtle, slowburning comedy portraying all the troubles that will rain down on you, once you decide to drop out (as an older adult) in a motorhome and start roaming the United States of America. (Avoid Nevada, by the way...)

    The good: the midlife crisis jokes are subtle, yet true to life and spot on. Many married adults, grinding away at their boring jobs will surely find recognition in this story about wanting to break free from all the shackles that the daily boring work routine presses down upon us.

    Any bad? The humour of director, writer and actor Albert Brooks is probably only suited for a smaller audience, who can appreciate some typical slowburning and subtle midlife crisis humour. Younger people who long for a fast and straight funny movie might find it boring.
  • LOST IN AMERICA (1985) ***1/2 Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, Garry Marshall. Hysterically funny film by Brooks about his character, David Howard, a yuppie who loses his job after his dream of a promotion falls through as an ad exec and decides to take his scatter-brained wife (Hagerty) cross country a la "Easy Rider" but in a Winnebago but gets seriously side-tracked in Las Vegas. Brooks has never been finer and gives the ultimate scene in cinema's history of being fired and quitting at the same time!
  • This movie is boring. I was embarrassed for Albert Brooks for having written and directed it. It is not funny. It is like a soap opera with banal dialogue about watching grass grow. Brooks comes off as a poor imitation of Woody Allen.
  • Albert Brooks' and Julie Hagerty's portrayals of the definitive yuppie couple are hilarious. They're so typical, especially with their attitude at the beginning about what is important in life, (a house with a tennis court and a Mercedes). Everything Mr. and Ms. Blue Collar America hates about the Reagan-era generation is portrayed here. They have everything, just to have it all blow up in their faces. The success of this film comes from the sum of its small parts. Brooks' phone conversation with Hans, the Mercedes salesman (voiced by Brooks himself), the firing scene with "Brad" and his ad jingle for Ford, the check-in at the Las Vegas hotel, and, of course, Brooks' sales pitch to the casino manager (Gary Marshall), are just a few of the gems, which, when added up result in one of the funniest films ever made.
  • A typical Albert Brooks film where the characters and the situation create the punchline. Most Albert Brooks fans will enjoy this movie for the simple reason that it stars Albert Brooks. Considered to many as the younger / less Jewish version of Woody Allen, Brooks is almost as funny whether or not his movie deals with relationships. In Lost in America, Broosk tackles not only the relationship between husband and wife but the relationship between America and the American dream. Julie Hagerty co-stars as the off beat yet hilarious wife that loses all their money in Las Vegas. The dream turns into a nightmare their dreams are suddenly gambled away. The story takes a giant turn for the funnier as Brooks and Hagerty enjoy a 80's version of Easy Rider as they discover themselves on the open road of their lives. All in all, it all ends in New York.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    'Lost in America' is a largely overlooked comedic gem of a movie, directed by and starring the intermittently brilliant comedian Albert Brooks. It's probably his best film, the most successful in terms of sustained humor. Others, like 'Defending Your Life' and 'The Muse' fall flat for long stretches and Brooks' neurotic persona starts to grate. But when he's good, he's very good, and there are some gaspingly hilarious moments in 'Lost in America.' I wouldn't mind being Albert Brooks. Without ever having a huge commercial success, he has been able to produce films regularly (while appearing in others) for the last thirty years. He's sort of a poor man's Woody Allen, but frankly I prefer Brooks and find his comic style much more palatable. 'Lost in America' finds David Howard (Brooks) expecting a big promotion at the ad agency where he works. More than expecting it, he is banking on it. He and his wife Linda (Julie Hagerty) have sold their house and bought a new one, so certain are they of this impending move up and increase in salary. David's friends and co-workers have all told him he's a shoo-in for the job. Yet worry nags at him. He's like a little kid who has convinced himself he's going to get a pony for Christmas but deep down knows there's no way. The big day arrives and when the dust has settled, David's worst fears have come true. In fact, worse than his worst fears, because before that dust settles, more has happened than he could have conceived that morning while he was rehearsing his 'acceptance speech.' This is the funniest scene in the film, a classic little study of human nature when everything that can possibly go wrong does. It's not slapstick; it's just a three-way conversation between David, his boss, and a bald man from New York. Before his boss even has a chance to really say anything, David launches into his thank you's and what a great day it is and how he is going to practically live at the agency from now on, giving the new job his all. That's great, his boss says, except you're not being promoted, you're going to New York to work on a new account (Ford) as Brad's (the bald man) assistant. Nothing in David's repertoire of responses is adequate to reply to this; part of his overcoming the nagging worry was to totally dismiss the possibility of this happening. So he loses it, completely. He rips into his boss, into Brad, into Brad's impromptu idea for a jingle ("this little Town Car, will drive you away" to the tune of 'New York, New York'), into his wasted years at the agency, into his boss's hairpiece, into New York itself ("if you think it's so great, why don't YOU go to New York?" he shouts). By the end of all this, which has taken less than fifteen minutes, he not only doesn't have the promotion, he's been fired. All of which is just the set-up for the rest of the film. A super-hyped-up David dashes to Linda's office and breathlessly tells her what happened, desperately trying to put the best spin on things. He decides on the spur of the moment that they should sell everything they own and drop out of society, "like they did in 'Easy Rider.'" One of the ideas he spews out has to do with uninhibited sex (I think) and concludes with the inspired thought that "there are some people you f*** in front of and some people you don't. We'll FIND THE ONES... and then we'll spend the rest of our lives f****** in front of them!" Linda tries to calm him down before he hyperventilates but soon he is rushing off to price motorhomes. From there, they head off across America in a Winnebago, to "touch Indians" among other things, but the trek turns out to be an abbreviated one as they only make it as far as Arizona, after Linda gambles away all their money in Las Vegas. There are other funny moments which inevitably seem a bit anti-climactic after the high-intensity rush of laughter induced by the above-mentioned two scenes. Still, it is a well-paced comedy that finds Brooks at a peak, consistently coming up with funny lines and situations. Many of the ideas hit very close to home with young urban professionals, if they are self-observant enough to notice. Not too many films are really 'laugh out loud' funny, but 'Lost in America' is one of them.
  • Malcs22 March 2000
    Papa Villone asserts that "If you can manage to find more than four memorable quotes in a film, it's a classic of some sort." Well, Albert Brooks' 1985 film Lost In America is so stocked with great quotes that it's off Papa's meter: "MERCEDES leather? What's MERCEDES leather?"

    "I've seen the future and it's a bald man from New York!"

    "I like Wayne Newton. Are you saying I'M a schmuck?"

    "You can't even SAY the word 'egg' any more. When you go into the woods you see a bird's round stick. For breakfast you have THING'S with ham."

    "I'm losing my right eye." "What?" "I'm losing my right eye." "What?"

    "An adult should NOT get a bloody nose."

    This film is hysterical. I watched it over at Casey's house for the first time a few days ago. Casey said he'd already seen it five or six times and now I know why. Director, writer and star Albert Brooks has created the perfect yuppie comedy. An advertising executive in his thirties who is on the verge of buying a new house for he and his wife, which he's hoping to coincide with his long-awaited promotion to vice president, is called into his bosses office and learns that not only isn't he getting the promotion, all he's getting is a lateral transfer (from their LA office to their New York offices). In probably the finest job- quitting scene in the history of film, Brooks explodes in the most acerbic, articulate way everybody has always dreamed of when realizing all their years of hard work mean nothing.

    He leaves his job, talks his wife (Julie Haggerty) into quitting hers, and they decide to "find themselves" on the open road "just like Easy Rider." They sell EVERYTHING, buy a Winnebago and STILL have about 150,000 dollars to their name and head to Vegas. Brooks qualifies himself every time he has to deal with someone: "Hi, uh, my wife and I have dropped out of society, and..." They have enough money, he conservatively estimates, to stay on the road for the rest of their lives. That's before she loses their nest egg at the roulette table. Brooks the adman tries to talk the casino owner (Garry Marshall) into giving back the money. It doesn't work, but Brooks keeps pushing, trying to sell the casino on improving its image. ("I'm a high-paid advertising consultant. These are professional opinions you're getting.") There are other great scenes, as the desperate couple tries to find work to support themselves: An interview with an unemployment counselor, who listens, baffled, to Brooks explaining why he left a $100,000-a-year job because he couldn't "find himself." And Brooks' wife introducing her new boss, a teenage boy.

    The funniest aspect of the film, though, is the element of materialistic panic Brooks is able to squeeze out of his character. He's a typical A-type, potential heart-attack victim: he makes a lot of money (80K! ), but not enough; who lives in a big house, but is outgrowing it; who drives an expensive car, but not a Mercedes-Benz; who is a top executive, but not a vice president. In short, he is a desperate man, trapped by his own expectations.

    See this with your friend from Microsoft who got hired fresh out of high school.
  • 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.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Dissatisfied yuppie advertising executive David Howard (a sharp performance by Albert Brooks) and his quietly discontent wife Linda (an appealing portrayal by Julie Hagerty) decide to quit the stupefying 9 to 5 white collar office grind so they can go in search of freedom on the open road in a Winnebago. However, the couple only encounter disaster at every turn.

    Director Brooks, who also co-wrote the mordant script with Monica Megowan Johnson, astutely nails just how stifling and frustrating living a safe comfortable existence can be, the intrinsic futility to be found in aggressively pursuing that elusive thing called "freedom," and the malaise lurking right underneath the surface of a seemingly ideal and secure lifestyle. Moreover, Brooks expertly mines a wickedly funny line in dry, yet biting and incisive humor, with the petulant and entitled David finding out through a serious of humiliating, but often hilarious encounters that there's a whole lot more to freedom than just simply dropping out of society.

    In addition, there are spot-on cameo appearances by Garry Marshall as a no-nonsense casino manager, Michael Greene as David's smarmy boss Paul Dunn, Tom Tarplay as the unctuous Brad Tooley, Donald Gibb as a belligerent ex-con, and Art Frankel as an incredulous employment agent. Eric Saarinen's bright and crisp cinematography offers lots of striking shots of the American countryside as well as makes nicely fluid use of a gliding camera. An absolute riot.
  • jacabiya3 November 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    Didn't see it when it first came out in the 80's, but was interested when shown on TCM a couple of nights back, thinking I had missed something not following Brook's career closer, since the little I had seen of him had shown quite an intelligent comedian. And being a sucker to abandon-modern-life-go-back-to-simpler-way-of-life stories, was actually quite excited about the premise, but then the couple mentions going to Las Vegas and I thought: No, it can't be, it would kill the story right there. Guess what! It was! What a wasted opportunity for adventure and to explore America a la Easy Rider...I can't believe this is in AFI's top 100 comedies...Also I can see now why Brooks never developed much of a career.
  • Los Angeles ad agency exec David Howard (Albert Brooks, who also directed and with Monica Johnson co-wrote the script) doesn't get the promotion he expected. In fact he's being sent to New York. He blows his stack, does a "you can take this job and shove it" routine and is out the door. He tells his wife Linda (Julie Hagerty, whom I recall as the flight attendant in the very funny Airplane!(1980)) that this is all for the best because, like his hero from the movie Easy Rider (1969), he wants to quit the rat race, drop out of society and just get on the road and see America.

    She too quits her job. They sell the house, consolidate their cash, buy a Winnebago and hit the road. How wonderful it is going to be! Well, no. Of course things go haywire. I'll leave the details for you to observe while noting that this is a funny and ultimately charming movie, a romantic comedy for the already married done in a low-key manner ending in yuppie irony.

    See this for Albert Brooks whose modest career includes roles in some fine flicks most notably, Broadcast News (1987), and Taxi Driver (1976).

    (Note: Over 500 of my movie reviews are now available in my book "Cut to the Chaise Lounge or I Can't Believe I Swallowed the Remote!" Get it at Amazon!)
  • Released in 1985 and directed by Albert Brooks from a script by Brooks & Monica Johnson, "Lost in America" is a satirical road dramedy about a yuppie couple in their 30s (Brooks and Julie Hagerty) who forsake their good jobs in Los Angeles, liquidate their assets, and endeavor to roam America in a Winnebago, like in "Easy Rider" (well, sort of; those dudes had motorcycles and little cash).

    This movie was a commercial success at the time, although not a blockbuster, and highly praised by critics, which is why it's ranked amongst the AFI's top 100 comedies. Incredibly, it currently has a 96% critic-rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the audience-rating closer to reality at 76%.

    In light of the radical critical praise, I was wholly disappointed the first time I tried to watch "Lost in America" and ended up fast-forwarding it through the second half. Last night, though, I decided to give it the chance it deserves. The problem for me is that this is a decidedly dialog-driven dramedy rather than event-driven, which would be okay if the dialog was entertaining or funny, but that's hardly the case (for me anyway). Brooks' character has marathon-length dialogues with several people through the course of the film – his wife, his boss, a casino owner, a job counselor, a hot dog joint manager, etc. – and it's mostly pointless drivel with only a smattering of amusing moments.

    Another problem is that, while the title says "Lost IN America," the events in the story are limited to three basic areas: (1.) The first act occurs in Los Angeles, mostly indoors (house and offices), (2.) the second act in Las Vegas & nearby Hoover Dam, and (3.) the last act in the small town of Safford, Arizona. That's it. Only in the last seven minutes does it become a genuine road movie with brief clips of the southern portion of the USA (e.g. Las Cruces, Houston and Atlanta) and Washington DC and New York City. I wouldn't mind this if the dialog and encounters of the bulk of the movie were actually entertaining.

    An additional problem is that there are no females beyond Hagerty's ditzy character, even though most of the second act takes place in Vegas. Needless to say, the movie drops the ball on the female front. Furthermore, Brooks lacks the charisma to carry a film like this; it needed someone like Bill Murray.

    Despite my criticisms, I do like the moral of the story, which is driven home at the climax. Also, there are amusing elements throughout "Lost in America" and it works as a period piece, but its overall quality isn't anywhere near where the hype puts it. It's an okay, but pedestrian mid-80's dramedy.

    The film runs 91 minutes.

    GRADE: C
  • I do like Albert Brooks, and there were moments of genuine hilarity in "Lost in America"... but those moments were too few and too far between, and at times the movie becomes outright depressing. There's a great deal of potential for humor in Brooks and Hagerty's situation, but a lot of it gets lost in its underlying bleakness.

    Worse, structurally this film is a MESS (and to explain this involves revealing the ending, so be warned). Brooks and Hagerty have lost practically EVERYTHING, and both are reduced from working at high-paying, prestigious corporate jobs to, respectively, working as a crossing guard and an assistant manager at Weinerschnitzel in a dead-end town in Arizona. This dreary situation the main characters have gotten themselves into resolves itself in, literally, the LAST THREE MINUTES OF THE MOVIE (if that long). Brooks says, basically, "screw this; I'll go to New York and get my old job back" - and so, in a hasty montage, we see the two of them traverse the entire country to New York City, and it is revealed in scrolling text right before the end credits that Brooks did indeed get his job back and everything is now hunky-dory. I'm not sure exactly what the point of the rest of the movie is when it's all tied up so neatly and abruptly. The entire movie is spent laboriously drawing the two in deeper and deeper, only to put them practically back where they started via two or three minutes' worth of explanation that should have taken fifteen or twenty.

    So what IS the ending trying to say? That it's a losing game to throw it all away, to live your dream - that your only hope is to reenter a life of drudgery? Pretty bleak message for a "comedy". I give this one a 5.
  • This was a movie about America written by someone who had never been out of Manhattan and who was just going off of 1] what some other toffs put in their screenplays, 2] general contempt for an unfamiliar culture, 3] a supercilious mindset, and 4] the effect of marijuana on the brain.

    There is really nothing additional required to review this insipid bit of celluloid, but IMDb does not value concision or the power of words and so requires 10 lines of text for a review. This was undoubtedly Albert Brooks's idea. Had he valued other people's time, he would not have inflicted this time-waster of a film on the world.
  • One of the best comedies ever...I crack up every time I see the part where he's working as the crossing guard and sniffs the leather inside the luxury car which stops & asks for directions...

    It's a cruel reversal from Lester Burnham in "American Beauty" Kevin Spacey's character really wants to experience minimum wage employment again (to spite his wife), but Albert Brooks' David Howard has hit the skids because of his dim-witted spouse. And yet, he sucks it up and makes it work in the end because he still loves her...Ain't love grand!

    The fact that America never embraced Albert Brooks' films is a crying shame...
  • Many of today's youth knows Albert Brooks as simply a voice of a fish in Finding Nemo. The rest mostly know him for his comedic shtick (I know him mainly from his guest appearances on The Simpsons), and it seems like Lost in America is a perfect example of Brooks' comedic talents. His deadpan routine is really what made him famous, and this was really an introduction to his work for me. I was underwhelmed but not really disappointed.

    David Howard (Brooks) is an advertising guy who is expecting a promotion, but when he doesn't get it, he decided to take his wife Linda (Julie Hagerty) to start a new life, Easy Rider style. She quits her job and they go out roaming the country in their new Winnebago. However, when they get to Vegas, David finds out something about Linda that will change their entire journey.

    Put simply, Lost in America is not a funny movie. It is comedic, sure, but it never made me laugh once. Their situations were grounded in reality, and what Brooks (who also directed and co-wrote) was going for was to show what could actually happen in real life. Therefore, there was nothing in the least wacky going on. I think Brooks was having trouble keeping a lot of funny things for reality; much of what was somewhat funny was whatever was improvised and started to grow a little over-the-top.

    On the other hand, where at one point Lost in America failed with it having be in a basis of reality, it was good that it seemed real, that it could happen to anyone. Everyone has a little David Howard in them, and when he was basically telling his boss to `take his job and shove it', everyone who has ever worked in corporate America, much like Office Space, would be standing up and cheering.

    In addition, Lost in America was constantly entertaining. There were no dull moments, and at a quick 91 minutes, it's a cheerful diversion. It's not funny, but with Albert Brooks, Julie Hagerty, a simple plot and consistent entertainment, how can you go wrong?

    My rating: 6/10

    Rated R for some language.
  • Be prepared, Albert Brooks's humor is ULTRA DRY. I found myself loving this flick before I was really old enough to. This movie addresses the reality of the happy couple, born 35+ years ago, now trapped in the Rat Race for the rest of their working days. They work for the owners of their company, for the government paying taxes, and for the bank paying off a mortgage and credit cards. A wake up call for all Americans!!!
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