Lost in America is a satirical 1985 comedy directed and co-written by Albert Brooks, who also stars along with Julie Hagerty.
David Howard (Brooks) is a Los Angeles advertising executive counting on a big promotion. He does get a promotion of sorts — he's being sent to New York City — but because it's not the one he's expecting, he flies into a rage and quits on the spot. He then convinces his wife Linda (Hagerty) to quit her job as well, so they can hit the road in their Winnebago, and live their lives like the characters from Easy Rider. Needless to say, things don't work out the way David envisioned. Also, Hilarity Ensues.
Tropes used in this film:
- Deconstruction: The film could be seen as a deconstruction of road trip and journey of discovery films. David gets angry when he learns that instead of a promotion he's getting transferred to New York, which would probably have been a great opportunity for him and was actually done because of how well respected he is for his skill set but since it's not what he was expecting or what he wants he gets mad, throws a tantrum at his boss and prospective work partner, gets fired and then pressures his wife Linda into quitting her job, which she wasn't exactly crazy about either, and coming with him on his crazy half baked scheme to live under the radar in a motor home living off of just enough money by excluding some life's necessities. Ultimately David discovers, after many mishaps and enduring the humiliation of being reduced to a cross walk guard where he is mocked and ridiculed by spoiled, stupid, foul mouthed children, that he was really better off where he was, so he goes to New York and manages to get his job back with a pay cut - but better medical.
- The Gambling Addict: Unbeknownst to David, Linda is one of these.
- Refuge in Audacity: After Linda loses all of their money gambling, David goes to the casino manager and asks them, as a bold advertising ploy, to give them their money back. The casino manager's reaction is priceless.