Lost in America


Lost in America (1985)



Critic Consensus: A satire of the American fantasy of leaving it all behind, Lost in America features some of Albert Brooks' best, most consistent writing and cultural jabs.


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Movie Info

Two dissatisfied yuppies leave their suburban lives behind and embark on a journey to rediscover America and themselves. This idea proves to be far more attractive in theory than actuality -- this satirical comedy follows the descent of the couple's idyllic journey as it rapidly descends into nightmarish confusion.

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Julie Hagerty
as Linda Howard
Albert Brooks
as David Howard
Garry Marshall
as Casino Manager
Donald Gibb
as Ex-Convict
Ernie Brown
as Pharmacist
Art Frankel
as Employment Agent
Sylvia Farrel
as Receptionist
Candy Ann Brown
as David's Secretary
Brandy Rubin
as Paul Dunn's Secretary
Robert Hughes
as Security Guard
John Di Fusco
as Motorcyclist
Michael Cornelison
as Front Desk Clerk
Radu Gavor
as Bellman
John C. Reade
as Casino Security Guard
Pat Garrison
as Roulette Croupier
Byron Tong
as Roulette Player
Gayle Lanza
as Hostess
Charles Boswell
as Highway Patrolman
Herb Nanas
as Mercedes Driver
Rex Reed (II)
as Himself (on radio)
Zeke Manners
as Trailer Park Man
Bea Manners
as Trailer Park Woman
Mark Sydney
as Boy on Bicycle
David Katz
as Boy on Bicycle
Raul Flores
as Boy on Bicycle
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News & Interviews for Lost in America

Critic Reviews for Lost in America

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (3)

Brooks, who wrote the script with Monica Johnson, is a highly original comedic spirit.

Oct 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Too often, things are simply too painfully accurate to be particularly funny. Still, it's hard to fault Brooks' resolutely adult intelligence, and Lost in America - almost in spite of itself, really - is easily his most consistently amusing work to date.

Mar 19, 2018 | Full Review…

Lost in America is being called a yuppie comedy, but it's really about the much more universal subjects of greed, hedonism and panic. What makes it so funny is how much we can identify with it.

Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

With co-writer Monica Johnson, his collaborator on Real Life and Modern Romance, Brooks has scripted the perfect outing for his gifts.

Jan 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Packed to the gills with Albert Brooks' signature dialog, and played to the hilt by both leads, Lost in America has a long set-up. But it's a testament to Brook's clever characterization.

Aug 11, 2017 | Full Review…

Brooks explodes the Kerouac fantasy by depicting two of the most uptight, urban people in the world trying to live it out.

Aug 9, 2017 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lost in America


Satirical view over suburban people, "trip to find American freedon", dreams and problems of new couples. Neurotic adventure comedy with great screenplay, Lost in America is a more realistic National Lampoon' s Vacation.

Lucas Martins
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

A couple abandons their life in the suburbs to head out on the open road until they lose their nest egg in Vegas. There are some very funny moments in Albert Brooks's script. I especially enjoyed some of the one-liners like "There's no one here I could quit to" and "If Liberace had children, this [cheap bridal suite with heart-shaped single beds] would be their room." But Brooks's neurotic delivery loses its charm, and there's something too aggressive about it. Contrasted to Woody Allen, who rarely seems threatening, Brooks seems too edgy, too close to dangerous, so that we can't laugh because we're too busy hoping he doesn't hurt someone. Julie Hagerty is, of course, hilarious. Her sweet voice and soft temperament make her a delightful contrast to Brooks. I also like the film's main idea. It's a satire of the yuppies' obsession with "finding oneself" on the road a la Easy Rider, which is often referenced in the film. In the voice of an employment agent, who says, "You couldn't change your life on a hundred thousand dollars a year?" Brooks needles the generation with one of the cushiest births possible. However, I thought the film moved slowly, and there were scenes that were meant to be funny - David's pursuit of his wife at the Hoover Dam and Linda's obsession with twenty-two on the roulette table - but they failed to be all that amusing. Overall, Lost in America is a very good satire, but not all satire leads to hilarity.

Jim Hunter
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

Seemed very short, but then again I watched this while I was on an RV trip and it was only on in the background at first. I wasn't fully paying attention to some of the early parts. I didn't find it as funny as I expected it to be. The movie should be called Lost in Las Vegas because that is the only major destination the couple has. The couple stays in a casino hotel though the point of RVing is that it is a home on wheels with a bed and kitchen and everything. She loses most of their money and they try for awhile to find entry level jobs in a small town. They then quickly decide to go beg for their old jobs back in New York. There is a cheap shortcut music montage film trick to cover all the time it takes for them to drive back to New York. They don't live free on the road. They don't see America. Disappointing!

Byron Brubaker
Byron Brubaker

Super Reviewer

David Howard: He'll buy that boat from that stupid boat catalog he's been making me look at for the last two months, and he will crash that boat off Catalina Island, and he will drown and die and seals will eat him. I'm a big Albert Brooks fan. From his little parts in movies like Out of Sight to a turn to voice acting in Finding Nemo and his various Simpsons characters, I find his comic sense hilarious. The movies he has written and directed himself I always seem to find to hit the right note. David Howard: Shut up Brad! Your song stunk, I hate your suit and I could hurt you! Here Brooks plays David, a yuppie living in LA making a lot of money as an Advertising Exec. For reasons only he could justify, David leaves his job and convinces his wife Linda, played by Julie Hagerty, to quit hers. They develop a plan to liquidate all of their assets, giving them a large nest egg of money, buy a Winnebago and hit the road to find themselves and live off the road for the rest of their lives. However, this plan is almost immediately thwarted when Linda gambles away all of the nest egg in one night in Las Vegas. David Howard: Why didn't you tell me when we got married that you were this horrible gambling addict? It's like when you have a venereal disease - you tell somebody! Linda Howard: I've only gambled twice in my life... This was the second time. With very, very few options, David and Linda must figure out what to do. The plot certainly isn't taken to its fullest by the time it reaches the end, but the movie is very funny throughout. It once again comes down to Brooks' presentation of his comedic sense. It also helps that Hagerty is a great foil to Brooks' character, as well as a great scene between Brooks and Gary Marshall. The movie is very funny throughout and a good look at a twist on 80s yuppie life. [at Hoover Dam] David Howard: Nice dam, huh? Do you want to go first, or should I?

Aaron Neuwirth
Aaron Neuwirth

Super Reviewer

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