Blu-Ray Review: Lost in America

David and Linda in their motor home

Most of us spend much of our lives working, often in grey office blocks in some soulless and essentially pointless white-collar profession. Doing much the same thing, day in, day out. Never really making enough money to do much more than take a holiday every year. Maybe buy a house, start a family. Some people reach a point when enough is enough. Decide on the spur of the moment to give up everything and start a new life. This is the case in Lost in America.

David (Albert Brooks) and Linda (Julie Hagerty) Howard are a typical yuppy couple living in Los Angeles, well off but unfulfilled and bored. Working as an advertising executive and a personnel manager respectively. When his potential promotion ends in a sacking, the couple decide to up sticks, pack everything into a motor home and travel the country. Their plans come crashing down around them when she loses all their money in a Vegas casino.

Lost in America takes the capitalist exuberance and excesses of the 1980s and pits them up against actual contentedness and self-worth. Albert Brooks’s film asks questions about what is important to us. Money can’t buy happiness but it’s a necessary evil in order to survive. Told with a great deal of caustic wit, it deals with the concept of satisfaction in the modern world. While we might all dream of quitting the rat race, Lost in America cautions us to be careful what we wish for.

Special edition features:

  • New, restored 2K digital transfer, supervised by director Albert Brooks, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • New conversation with Brooks and filmmaker Robert Weide
  • New interviews with actor Julie Hagerty, executive producer Herb Nanas, and filmmaker and screenwriter James L. Brooks
  • Trailer
  • English subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Scott Tobias

New cover by F. Ron Miller based on an original theatrical poster

Lost in America is released on Blu-Ray by the Criterion Collection on 29 March.

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