Synopsis: Southern-fried yokels bond over road trip to monster truck rally.
Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Monster Trucks, Monster Steaks, Monster Comedy!”
What Did I Learn?: 1) It’s tough to eat a 72-ounce steak, baked potato, bread and coleslaw in the course of an hour without tossing your cookies immediately afterward. 2) One dollar is not an appropriate tip for a hotel bellhop.
You Might Like This Movie If: You’ve always wanted to see a film that features performances from both Tony Orlando AND Truckasaurus.
Really?: 1) I can understand Darlene (Natasha Richardson) being angry with Lonnie-Earl (Billy Bob Thornton), but is it really a good idea to destroy your ride home when you’re travelling through another part of the country? 2) This might be the worst line of movie dialogue I’ve ever heard: “You're like a mole. And I'm not talking about that THING on Cindy Crawford's face.” 3) I had a hard time believing the two couples could simply yell at each other, and then kiss and make up a few hours after such a bombshell admission. 4) I really didn’t to see a close-up of Billy-Bob’s mouth as he was polishing off that monster steak...
Rating: Waking Up in Reno certainly has its moments, and the four leads work well together (Thornton provides some especially funny lines as a delightfully sleazy used car salesman), but the biggest problem with this film is that the characters are essentially caricatures of Southern white trash, and the audience is somehow supposed to care about what happens to them. Sorry, but you can’t present crudely-drawn, two-dimensional characters, make them play every scene for cheap laughs, and then go for the heartstrings. Oh, and it’s amazing how much of Waking Up in Reno seems to have been lifted from other films (the steak-eating scene from The Great Outdoors, for starters), but even the use of Yello’s “Oh Yeah” when the male leads see their truck for the first time. 5.5/10 stars.