Saturday, April 30, 2011

Kate Noble: The Road Trip Romance

Love ‘em or hate ‘em, everyone has been on a road trip. I personally love them. I love prepping for the trip, figuring out what you’re going to need to take and what route you’ll take. I love packing up the car, a strange, Tetris-like exercise in trying to keep a sliver of the back window visible. I love turning around four minutes into your journey to grab that thing that’s vital that you forgot.

But I’ve never fallen in love on a road trip. I’ve never had that startling discovery of finding the person you’ve been sharing your car or bus seat with is the one you want to share your life with. Maybe that’s why I wrote Follow My Lead – a road trip romance of the first order, where two opposites – the duke of Rayne and bluestocking Winnifred Crane -- have to work together to get to where they’re going… and figure out they were meant for each other along the way.

I adore road trip romances, and thought I’d share with you a few of my favorites:

It Happened One Night

The Quintessential Road Trip Romance, It Happened One Night happens mostly on a bus. Ellie Andrews, an heiress and society darling wants to get back to New York and the guy that’s waiting for her there. But she’s easily recognizable, so newspaperman Peter Warne (Clark Gable, who is charm is reaching Rhett Butler heights) promises to help her along – at the price of the story of her adventures. I’ll give you one guess for what happens along the way…

Romancing the Stone

Full disclosure: I’m pretty sure my boyfriend fell in love with me because he has a Joan Wilder fetish. This is the movie that made romance writers stand up and cheer, and romance lovers fall madly for Michael Douglas. Kathleen Turner is romance novelist Joan Wilder, who has to travel to Colombia to save her sister’s life. When she arrives, she gets on the wrong bus, and is saved from certain disaster by the snarky, street-smart Jack Colton. As they make their way across the Columbian jungle, being chased by jewel thieves and crazy military guys as they go, is it any wonder that they end up falling for each other?


Yes, Spaceballs. A movie that owes almost as much to It Happened One Night as it does to Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Planet of the Apes, Spaceballs answers the question (that nobody asked, but hey, go with it): what happens when you strip away the whole boring hero’s quest thing from Star Wars, and just make it about what we really want to see: the princess and the pilot hooking up.

Added bonus of having Joan Rivers as your Robot Virgin Police and John Candy as your puppy sidekick.

Leap Year

And incredibly sweet entry into the Road Trip Romance genre, Leap Year stars the delightful Amy Adams and the delicious Matthew Goode as a woman determined to get to her man in Dublin and ask him to marry her, and her Irish guide, respectively. But plucking Amy Adams out of her fast paced life makes her realize just how much she’s been missing… and having a starchy, perky woman around who is intent upon her course makes Matthew Goode realize just how much he wants to break down her walls.

What do you think? What are some of your favorite Road Trip Romances?

Kate Noble


Mary Anne Landers said...

Thank you for your post, Kate.

A road-trip romance film I highly recommend is the heartwarming comedy-drama "Pontiac Moon" (1994). Set in the context of the first moon landing in 1969, the amiable eccentric Ted Danson and his son take a road trip in a vintage Pontiac (hence the title). They hope to arrive at the (fictitious) Mountains of the Moon National Park (really Monument Valley) at the same time Neil Armstrong steps on the moon.

What makes the film a romance lies in Danson's relationship with his wife Mary Steenburgen (a real-life married courple as well). These two characters start out in a totally dysfunctional relationship. Their marriage is miserable for a reason that, as far as I know, has never turned up in any other film or novel: she has severe agoraphobia. She's never left the house in seven years.

But when she fears her son is in danger, she chases after her menfolk. And once she catches up with them, the husband and wife have a chance to make their marriage work. Provided, of course, they can overcome various obstacles, both inner and outer.

This film is full of amusing incidents, white-knuckle adventure, striking imagery, and tender romance. It's a memorable example of film pushing the envelope, of dealing with a real-life problem in an entertaining manner.

Good luck with "Follow My Lead"!

Jo's Daughter said...

I adore Leap Year, such a heartfelt tale. Another road movie that stuck with me is: Elizabeth Town. The heroes father dies and so he can't take his own life, he has to take care of things back home. He meets a special girl and she helps him see the beauty in life. So after her encouragement he goes on the roadtrip he planned with his father. Very moving!

Pam P said...

It Happened One Night is a great classic movie, as is Hitchcock's suspenseful North by Northwest.

Books, loved Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase.

Can't wait to read your newest, Kate.

marybelle said...

I would have said 'Romancing the Stone': it sits proudly in my collection.

desere_steenberg said...

Very nice post thank you for sharing for me Leap Year is the most memorable one !