Waking Up in Reno is a 2001 southern red-neck comedy co-written by Brent Briscoe and Mark Fauser and directed by Jordan Brady, following the story of two couples and the ensuing vacation that tests the bonds of marriage and friendship. In Little Rock, Arkansas, car dealer Lonnie Earl Dodd (Billy Bob Thornton) and his wife Darlene (Natasha Richardson) decide to take across-country road trip with their best friends Roy Kirkendall(Patrick Swayze)and Candy (Charlize Theron).
Throughout the trip is becomes obvious that Darlene is completely submissive to her husband Lonnie in all areas of their relationship: allowing him to purchase a brand new SUV for the ensuing trip, relinquishing her dream to see the Grand Canyon so that Lonnie can compete in an eating contest, and turning a blind eye to the verbal abuse he reaps upon her. Unbeknownst to Darlene, Lonnie has also been engaging in an affair with Candy.
The two couples arrive with very little incident in the town of Reno, Nevada in time to see a Monster Truck Rally. Before the event, Candy discovers that she is pregnant, overjoyed because she and Roy have been trying for some time to start a family. Meanwhile, Roy receives a phone call from their fertility clinic telling him he is infertile, confirming that the father of Candy's baby is Lonnie.
Finally confronted with the reality of the poor treatment of her husband, Darlene takes the day to herself, fulfilling a dream of seeing Tony Orlando in concert, treating herself to a full blown makeover, and surreptitiously donating Lonnie's prized SUV to the Monster Truck Rally arena to be destroyed at the live show.
Suddenly aware that his entire world is about to crumble and that his life may never be the same, Lonnie comes to his senses and the whole evening culminates in an ultimate confrontation between the two couples in their fantastic Reno suite.