Perhaps the quintessential mid-life crisis film, Albert Brooks' Lost in America tells the story of David and Linda, a married couple who share a cushy existence in Los Angeles. When David finds himself passed up for a big promotion, he lashes out, convincing his wife to sell everything they own and hit the road in an attempt to "see America". As a gesture of their commitment to "starting over", David and Linda plan to remarry in Las Vegas, which ironically enough is the beginning of the end of their attempt to start over. Albert Brooks is without question one of the best satirical filmmakers of his era, and with Lost In America he has created a quietly-biting film about the deteriorating American idealism of the 1960s. Through amusing comedy, Lost In America quietly eviscerates the capitalist ideals of success, where materialistic aspects define a persons' worth, as these character's suffer through much of the film thanks to their reliance on money. It's no coincidence that David and Linda's idealism of being free from the chains of society becomes shattered in Las Vegas, a place which could be described as the heart of the darker aspects of the American dream where a money-obsessed generation fills the casinos on a nightly basis. Linda loses their life's savings in Vegas, which sends the couple spiraling out of control, and it becomes apparent that this yuppie couple simply can't survive without the comforts of money, which in turn finds them heading towards New York where David essentially begs for his job back. Typical of Brooks, the script of Lost in America is sharp and witty, featuring lots of great dialogue throughout, but while Lost in America is certainly funny and an entertaining experience from start to finish, Lost in America feels slight when compared to some of Brooks' best efforts, even when considering its underlying angst centered around America's obsession with monetary success. Lost in America is a film which appreciates and salutes those individuals who aren't afraid to drop out of the consumer, capitalist-driven society America has become, but perhaps the most interesting aspect of the film is Brooks' himself essentially acknowledging that while he appreciates this ideology and is certainly frustrated by how America has become, he himself would never be capable of following through on this type of idealism
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