Watch Waking Up in Reno
- 1 hr 31 min
Waking Up in Reno is a 2002 comedy-drama that follows the lives of two couples who undertake a road trip from Little Rock to Reno, Nevada in order to attend a monster truck rally. The film stars Billy Bob Thornton, Charlize Theron, Patrick Swayze, and Natasha Richardson. The plot kicks off with Roy (played by Thornton) and Candy (played by Theron), a married couple who live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Roy is a mechanic and Candy is a dental hygienist, and despite their seemingly rocky marriage, they are convinced that they still love one another. They have been trying to conceive a child for a long period of time, but have had no success. Meanwhile, their friends, the adventurous Darlene (played by Richardson) and her henpecked husband, Lonnie (played by Swayze), are neighbors who live next door to them. Darlene is a flamboyant hairdresser who is deeply unhappy in her marriage with Lonnie, a petulant and needy man who is constantly clinging to her. Despite their differences, the four of them are close friends and regularly socialize with one another, with Roy and Candy being Darlene and Lonnie's go-to couple for travelling and exploring. One day, Darlene spontaneously decides that the four of them should all go to Reno to watch the Monster Truck Nationals. Roy and Candy eventually agree to tag along, while Lonnie tries to put up a fight but is ultimately talked into it. The film then follows the group on their journey through the Midwest, with various complications and mishaps occurring along the way. As they travel, secrets are revealed, heated arguments break out, and individual desires are pursued. The trip becomes a transformative experience for all four of them, with each character undergoing a personal revelation during their journey to Reno. Along the way, the film delves into themes such as love, loyalty, infidelity, and the pursuit of happiness. It explores the complexities of human relationships, the emotions that drive them, and the tensions that often arise within them. Throughout the movie, Billy Bob Thornton's performance as Roy is noteworthy. He brings a depth of complexity to his character, conveying the turmoil and hidden depths beneath Roy's outwardly gruff and simple exterior. Charlize Theron also delivers a compelling portrayal of Candy, capturing the frustration and hopelessness that often accompany the desire for children. Patrick Swayze provides a strong performance as well, portraying Lonnie as a man who is deeply conflicted and unhappy with his life but refuses to openly acknowledge it. Natasha Richardson is the standout of the group, however, with her vivacious and spirited portrayal of Darlene. Overall, Waking Up in Reno is a charming and enjoyable dramedy that delivers a story of self-discovery, friendship, and the transformative power of travel. It is a road movie that will appeal to audiences who enjoy heartfelt explorations of human relationships, without taking itself too seriously.