THE DAYTRIPPERS [1996] movie review

August 17, 2013 · Print This Article

Yet another movie whose title has long been in my head, THE DAYTRIPPERS [1996] was very, very different than what I thought it would be. I had no idea it would involve multiple generations and a middle class family over 24 hours in the New York area pursuing a mystery at the drop of a hat!

I thought it might be a road trip movie, naturally, and maybe involving drugs, but seeing Parker Posey in the cast list I though it would be a movie revolving around twenty-somethings. In reality it is Posey, her boyfriend, her sister, her dad and especially her mother in a classic wood paneled station wagon on the day after Thanksgiving in New York City. Posey’s sister played by Hope Davis discovers a love note behind a night stand in her bedroom. It is not addressed to anyone, but is signed “Sandy.” She somewhat suspects maybe her husband could be having an affair.

She goes over to her parent’s house for advice and to my surprise they all hop in a car and head to NYC to confront her husband! Only, he is not in the office so they show some impressive detective skills as they follow a few clues in hopes of catching up with him.

Along the way we learn about each family member and how they get along with each other. All it takes is a day of pressure, tension and being on the Road to reveal raw emotions between them all and show how strong or weak their relationships are.

There are interludes with total strangers who help them, or need the family’s help. The movie is really unusual in its very linear progress. We are given no flashbacks or anything so we only know as much as the characters on screen. I liked that.

The mystery of who the note was written to is solved in the end, though the aftermath is left somewhat open. I also liked that. No need to wrap everything up in a neat little bow.

What will stick out to me from THE DAYTRIPPERS though is a line of poetry quoted by a minor character, about two people’s love who is truly parallel, though infinite, will never meet.

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