Unemployment. Downward mobility. Trying to simplify your life. Vehicles with exceptionally poor gas mileage. It all sounds like news you probably read about this morning. And that’s what makes “Lost In America” more than just a movie. This 1985 flick was more like a psychic reading, an uncanny look at the sort of economic angst plenty of Americans have had to endure these past few years.
Okay, so this movie is a comedy directed, co-written by and starring one of the funniest filmmakers of our generation, Albert Brooks. And his character’s unemployment and subsequent fall from grace happen when he acts like an arrogant jerk, getting gets fired because he wants a bigger raise and better leather for his car seats. Still, there has always been something about “Lost In America” that feels as much like an award-wining documentary as it does a film that won about as many critical accolades as a comedy could win when it first came out. Brooks’ masterpiece was released 28 years ago this week, and it’s well worth taking a look back and why it was so ahead of its time.