Waking Up in Reno

2006-03-30 12:04

This 'redneck' road trip comedy is a mixture of the 1969 wife-swapping classic Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice and 1997's Vegas Vacation. Lonnie Earl (Billy Bob Thornton) is a self-centered car dealer from Little Rock, Arkansas who is married to Darlene (Natasha Richardson). Lonnie is looking for a little excitement, so together with his dimwitted best friend Roy (Patrick Swayze) and Roy's wife Candy (Charlize Theron), the foursome decide to make a trip to Reno, Nevada for a monster truck extravaganza.

They grab a fully loaded S.U.V. from Lonnie's lot, fill up the cooler with Pabst Blue Ribbon, and hit the road. However, what initially begins as a fun-loving good time for the seemingly happy married couples quickly takes a turn for the worse. While newlyweds Candy and Roy are desperately trying to get pregnant, it occurs to the group that Candy might already be pregnant - with Lonnie's baby.

What the critics are saying:

"...a hillbilly romantic comedy in which the hillbillies show up but the romance and comedy never do."
- Todd Mccarthy, Variety

"...another one of those road comedies where Southern roots are supposed to make boring people seem colourful (sic)."
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

"...offers big, fat, dumb laughs that may make you hate yourself for giving in. Ah, what the hell."
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

This tepid and condescending hillbilly rom-com feels more like a 90 minute episode of a B-grade sitcom than a feature film. A total waste of a good cast.

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