Coupe de Ville

Watch Coupe de Ville

"A comedy for everyone who ever struggled to love a brother...or strangle one."
  • PG-13
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 39 min
  • 6.7  (2,650)

Three brothers, Marvin (Daniel Stern), Buddy (Arye Gross), and Bobby (Patrick Dempsey) are brought together by their father, Fred (Alan Arkin), to drive a classic 1954 Cadillac Coupe de Ville from Detroit to Miami. Each of the brothers is going through a different life crisis, making the trip an emotional rollercoaster. Marvin is a successful businessman but struggles with his marriage; Buddy is a rebel without a cause who's been in and out of jail and rehab; Bobby is a college student who's just been dumped by his girlfriend.

The trip starts off poorly, with the brothers bickering and getting on each other's nerves. But as they spend more time on the road, they start to bond over shared experiences and the car becomes a symbol of their familial connection. The trio has a series of mishaps and adventures along the way, including a run-in with a gang of bikers, helping a stranded pregnant woman, and getting lost in the swamps of Louisiana. They also make a pitstop in Memphis to visit Elvis Presley's Graceland.

The brothers' personal issues come to the fore throughout the movie, as they confront their feelings and share their secrets. Marvin is dealing with a failing marriage and a long-term mistress, Buddy is grappling with addiction and the scars of his troubled past, and Bobby is struggling to find his identity after his breakup. The stress of their individual problems threatens to tear them apart, but eventually, they find common ground and the strength to carry on.

The Coupe de Ville itself is a major player in the film, with the brothers fretting over every scratch and scrape the car receives along the way. It's a gorgeous, cherry-red beauty that seems to have a personality all its own. The car serves as a metaphor for the three brothers' relationship: it's a classic, enduring thing of beauty, but it requires constant maintenance and care to keep it running smoothly.

The film has a great sense of nostalgia for the 1950s, with the brothers listening to classic rock and roll on the radio and stopping at roadside diners for burgers and milkshakes. But it's also layered with a more modern sensibility, as the brothers struggle with issues like addiction and infidelity that are relevant to contemporary audiences.

The performances by the three leads are excellent, particularly Daniel Stern as the uptight, Type A Marvin, and Arye Gross as the wild and troubled Buddy. Patrick Dempsey, in one of his earlier roles, is endearing as the youngest and most sensitive of the brothers. Alan Arkin as the father is woefully underused, but he brings depth and heart to his limited screen time.

Overall, Coupe de Ville is an underrated little gem of a movie that mixes humor, drama, and nostalgia in a winning combination. It's a road trip movie with heart, featuring three very different brothers who manage to find their way back to each other amidst the chaos of their lives. Recommended for anyone who loves a good family drama or a classic car.

Coupe de Ville
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 39 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.7  (2,650)