The family road trip is a time-honoured cinema trope and for a good reason. When you’re on the open road, anything can happen; throw in the different personalities of a family and you’re looking at the recipe for a wild ride. To pay homage to GWM’s Haval H6, the undisputed king of the family road trip, Variety Australia looks at six of the best family road trip movies of all time.
There’s something inherently captivating about the open road – the sense of adventure, the promise of new beginnings, and the freedom to explore the great unknown. Over the years, filmmakers have captured the essence of the road trip experience, weaving tales of self-discovery, camaraderie, and unexpected encounters. Then they’ve added a family dynamic and things have gone even more wild. Fasten your seatbelts and join us as we embark on a cinematic road trip through some of the best family road trip movies of all time.
“Little Miss Sunshine” (2006)
Dysfunctional family road trip movies don’t get much more heart-warming than “Little Miss Sunshine”. When little Olive Hoover discovers she’s qualified for the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, her entire family pile into a van to get her from their home in New Mexico to California for the competition. The cast absolutely shines, from Toni Collette as mum Sheryl to Abigail Breslin absolutely smashing it as Olive, a role she was nominated for an Oscar for at just 10 years old.
This movie has everything you’d expect in a family road trip – you’ll laugh, you’ll cry and you’ll thank your lucky stars your own family isn’t this cringe. Central to the plot of the movie is the family’s yellow van which they drive across the country, unfortunately plagued by mechanical issues.
Luckily, if you’re embarking on such a journey of your own, you won’t need to worry about mechanical issues if you’re in a Haval H6 as you are looked after with the 7 Year unlimited KM warranty, 5 year roadside assist, and 5 year capped price servicing. Paired with a 5-star ANCAP safety rating, the Haval H6 will get your family safely and comfortably from point A to point B – whether you win the beauty pageant is another thing!
“National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983)
The film which started an entire series and launched a thousand copy cats, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is an iconic comedy following the Griswold family from Chicago to California to go to the theme park Walley World. Hijinks ensue, and things go from bad to worse at every turn for the family.
Directed by Harold Ramis and starring the who’s who of 80s comedy including Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and John Candy, “Vacation” feels like the family road trip movie that started them all. It got a remake in 2015 with Ed Helms and Christina Applegate, but it’s generally accepted that the original is the best!
“Runaway Vacation” (2006)
Workaholic Bob Munro, played by Robin Williams, convinces his family to cancel their Hawaiian vacation and spend some quality time together on a cross-country RV trip to the Rocky Mountains instead. But Bob’s intentions for this roadtrip aren’t as pure as they seem and he soon has to learn some difficult lessons about responsibility.
At the centre of the drama is Bob’s tricky relationship with the RV he hires to take his family on the trip. Between the damage he inflicts on the vehicle and the RV’s own problems, his trip goes from bad to worse. Most of us won’t expect as many hijinks on our family road trips as the Munro’s do, but driving a tricky new vehicle can really put a dampener on the holiday.
A Haval H6 is a medium-sized SUV, perfect for giving the whole family plenty of room without feeling cumbersome in urban driving, and the multi-mode hybrid transmission promises a smooth, responsive ride and superior acceleration when you need it. So if hijinks do arise on your trip, you’ll be able to rely on the Haval H6 to get you out of them!
“Paris, Texas” (1984)
Directed by Wim Wenders, “Paris, Texas” tells the story of a man who embarks on a journey to reunite with his estranged family, traversing the striking landscapes of the American Southwest. It’s a visually stunning film that delves into themes of redemption, love, and the vastness of the American landscape.
If you’re someone who loves to romanticise the beauty of you, your car and the open road, “Paris, Texas” is the perfect film for that. It lives up incredibly well, still looking and sounding beautiful today, although the ending is contentious and was reportedly one of many the writers considered!
Long before The Bear had us all saying “yes, chef!” there was Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo and Emjay Anthony in a beat-up food truck serving some of the best sandwiches you’ve ever laid eyes on. “Chef” is unbearably wholesome, with Favreau’s Carl learning to cope with the big changes in his life, and how to parent his son, over a summer in the truck. It’s also got some of the best food porn in the business – we challenge you not to want a grilled cheese immediately after.
The food truck in “Chef” becomes just as big a part of the movie as the main characters, reiterating how important it is to think about your ride before you set off on your own road trip! The Haval H6 has the high end features your family will love with the safety features you need to keep your mind at ease while you forge your own path around the country.
We might be getting a little bit loose with the definition of family here, but surely the people you’re left with during an apocalypse are as much your family as anyone else? Another road trip flick starring Abigail Breslin, she’s joined by Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg as they drive across America to try and find sanctuary from the zombies that have overrun the country.
Zombieland has that frenetic, comic-style energy that a lot of zombie movies adapt, but the group of unlikely comrades at the centre of it all keep it grounded. And while it seems unlikely that there would be so much hope at what could be the end of the world, the film steers away from being too serious and manages to keep you onboard until the very end, when you’re rewarded with some hectic action scenes. Double tap.
If you’re planning a family road trip or just looking for a safe, reliable and comfortable new car to get your family everywhere they need to go, check out GWM’s mid-sized SUV, Haval H6. From a 5-star ANCAP safety rating to multi-mode hybrid transmission, it’s got everything you need to keep the whole family here. Find out more here.