A road movie is a film genre in which the main characters leave home to travel from place to place, typically altering the perspective from their everyday lives. The term can still apply to scenarios where it can be a misnomer, such as when the plot of a film involves off-road travel.
The genre has its roots in spoken and written tales of epic journeys, such as the Odyssey and the Aeneid. The road film is a standard plot employed by screenwriters. It is a type of bildungsroman, a story in which the hero changes, grows or improves over the course of the story.
The on-the-road plot was used at the birth of American cinema but blossomed in the years after World War II, reflecting a boom in automobile production and the growth of youth culture. Even so, awareness of the "road picture" as a genre came only in the 1960s with Bonnie and Clyde and Easy Rider.
- Danesi, Marcel (2008). Dictionary of Media and Communications. M.E. Sharpe. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-7656-8098-3.