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Roy and Candy and Lonnie Earl and Darlene are two married couples who thought they knew one another, until they decided to take their dream vacation together. Hitting the road in a brand-new SUV, they're having the time of their lives until something funny happens on the way to the monster truck show in Reno. Turns out Lonnie Earl has a thing for Candy, and when evidence of this starts to surface, things really start to heat up.
Patrick Swayze and Natasha Richardson passed away six months apart in 2009, only seven short years after making this film. See more »
When Candy and Darlene are sitting at the makeup mirror in the hotel visiting, the strap on Darlene's left shoulder disappears and reappears several times. See more »
You know, relationships can be a lot like a loaf of bread. At the beginning they're hot and fresh and you can always get a rise. But with time, if you don't knead them carefully, they grow old and stale. Now I know that life ain't no Easy Bake Oven. With the kids and my husband's job, it's almost as if we've forgotten to add the yeast. So I'm hoping the trip to Reno with our best friends, Candy & Roy, will be just what the doctor ordered.
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Wakin' up in Reno refers to more than just the alarm clock when two married couples take a road trip -- and an unexpected emotional detour -- from their home town of Little Rock to the "Biggest Little City in the World" for a monster truck rally. Roy (Patrick Swayze, "Forever Lulu") and Candy (Charlize Theron, "Sweet November") tag along with their best friends Lonnie Earl (Billy Bob Thornton, "The Gift") and Darlene (Natasha Richardson, "Blow Dry"), picking up a brand new SUV from the dealership that Lonnie Earl owns, and head off for the wild blue yonder. They're armed with a AAA Trip Tik, which is animated onscreen from time to time as we follow the bouncing auto from point to point on its way out west. Along the way, they stop at a few roadside attractions -- but only the ones Lonnie Earl wants to see, because he's got to keep to their schedule. This is very important to him, even after he eats a 72-ounce steak and winds up in the emergency room. Meanwhile, Candy is ovulating and Roy's got to accommodate her whenever her temperature drops to that magic number. Little does he know, Lonnie Earl may have already planted his seed before they left home. Lonnie Earl's wife, Darlene, doesn't know either -- but you think she might not care, as she hasn't let her husband touch her for the past two years.
This is a pretty simple story and there isn't a lot going on, but it's well directed, and particularly well written and well acted. It all comes together beautifully, and the four actors are completely believable in their could-be country caricature roles. Lonnie Earl's got the Van-Dyke look going on, complete with snakeskin cowboy boots and his faux snakeskin shirt, and Darlene starts off bumpkin-geek with her overalls and badly bleached hair. She later goes babe-chic when she takes the cheating Lonnie Earl's credit card, raids the expensive designer boutiques, and treats herself to a Tony Orlando concert. While none of the characters have especially good qualities, the actors who portray them make them likable and relatable.
While the subject matter is serious, Wakin' Up In Reno is played (mostly) for laughs, and there are plenty of them. It's too bad it's only getting a limited release, as this is one of the smartest, funniest adult comedies I've seen in awhile.
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