Saturday, April 21, 2012

Obligatory Road-Trip Vegas Scene #1: LOST IN AMERICA

As I said at the start of this 5-part series, there are tons of movies that are completely set in Las Vegas, but here, inspired by wife's trip to Vegas this week, I’m talking about those scenes in cross-country road-trip movies in which the Nevada gambling mecca makes a brief cameo appearance.

We're now down to #1 on the list of Obligatory Road-Trip Vegas Scenes and it's a doozy:

LOST IN AMERICA (Dir. Albert Brooks, 1985)

Now this is the opposite of those scenes (like in STARMAN and RAIN MAN) where the characters breeze into town and win big. In this should be comedy classic, married couple Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty decide to quit their jobs and hit the road in a Winnebago. An excited Brooks tells Hagerty: “This is just like in ‘Easy Rider,’ only now it’s our turn!”

But Brooks doesn't know his wife has a gambling problem when they roll into Vegas and get a suite at the Desert Inn. Their plan was to get re-married the next morning, but Brooks wakes up to find that Hagerty has left the room. He finds her frantically gambling in the casino repeating “come on back to me, 22, 22, 22…”

The Desert Inn Casino Manager (a great cameo by Garry Marshall) takes Brooks aside: “She’s been here all night; she’s not on a lucky streak. I think you should talk to her.” 

Check out the scene here:

An equally amusing scene follows in which Brooks tries to get Marshall to give them back their money, which Brooks calls their “nest-egg,” by trying to sell them an advertising slogan: “The Desert Inn has heart.”

Like many other movies road-trip movies that have a Vegas detour, there's a scene at the Hoover Dam after Brooks and Hagerty leave town.

LOST IN AMERICA is available on DVD.

More later...

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