The Road Trip Romance

Ah, the Road Trip Romance.

There’s just something about watching two people, usually two very different disasters, being forced to work together on some adventure and having their rocky alliance turn into *more*.

Here are a few reasons to love this kind of story: 

1. The Adventure
Nothing ever goes right for the heroine on a Road Trip Romance.

The heroine misses her plane. The roads are treacherous. There’s some psycho chasing her down.

You get the picture.

And to make matters worse, she has to team up with him.

2. The Dynamic
More often than not, the hero and heroine are opposites. She’s high strung and makes things happen, he’s not afraid of breaking the rules but lacks drive. She’s book smart, he’s street smart. You get the drift. There’s plenty of opportunity for an enemies-to-lovers romance and for the hero and heroine to meet in the middle.

Nothing like the withering glare of (eventual) love

3. The Banter

Okay, so technically this falls under The Dynamic, but I think the Banter™ deserves its own section.

It can’t be helped when two very independent, spirited and different personalities collide. The heroes and heroines in Road Trip Romances give as good as they get when it comes to verbal sparring.

4. Tropes.
All of the tropes. You want fake-dating to escape danger or social disaster? Done. There’s only one bed? Well, of course. Dramatic proposals? It’s more likely than you think!

5. The Scenery 
Adventure means travel. And travel means pretty places to look at. It could be a terrible jungle set from the mid-80s, all the touristy spots in Paris, fantastic aerial shots of Ireland or animated magic.

But the location is more than travel porn in a road trip romance. One of the characters (usually the heroine) is no longer in control of her environment. She might even hate where she winds up because she’s not in charge. But in the end, she’s either conquered her environment as well as her fears or she can’t imagine going back home to her quiet existence.

Some of my favorite Road Trip Romances:

  • Romancing the Stone (1984) stars Kathleen Turner as a shut-in romance writer *cough* and Michael Douglas as a swashbuckling treasure hunter
  • French Kiss (1995) with Meg Ryan as a high stress lady on her way to Paris who gets tangled up in Kevin Kline’s petty crook shenanigans
  • Leap Year (2010) has Amy Adams and Matthew Goode on a road trip where nothing goes as planned as she tries to follow a old wives’ tale about proposing to her boyfriend on Leap Day.
  • Tangled (2010) A lost princess gets a charming bandit to guide her to the lantern festival for an epic night out.

What’s your favorite Road Trip Romance movie?

2 thoughts on “The Road Trip Romance”

  1. French Kiss is what I first thought of when I was thinking about road trip romances. It’s not only the location and banter, but also that personal group where they see how they can be better without the dead weight that was holding them back. It could be a bad relationship or high stress job. But it is the risk of love and finding something within yourself that makes your heart sing in this romance.

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