From Easy Rider to The Blue Brothers and last year’s Oscar winning Nomadland, road trip films have been a big part of the cinematic experience for a long time. They’ve encompassed many different genres as well. So no matter if you enjoy comedy, science fiction, drama or action, there is a road trip film for you. Take Me Somewhere Nice fits somewhere between drama and dark comedy, and like all films in those genres it feels like a slice of life at the same time.
Take Me Somewhere Nice follows the story of Alma (Sara Luna Zoric), a young woman who decides to travel from the Netherlands to visit her sick and dying father in Bosnia. Having never met her father before she has no idea what to expect. But her experience trying to get to him isn’t as easy as she’d like it to be. Her cousin her mother connected her with for help doesn’t seem to want to help her. The bus she travels in leaves her behind on the road. That bus takes her luggage with it, a car she travels in breaks down and dies. And not everyone she meets is as nice as they appear to be on the surface. While nothing seems to go as planned, Alma does gain much more than expected.
Sara Luna Zoric takes the lead in the film, and is the biggest highlight in it. Her character is naïve as they come. And without a strong actress playing the part you may find yourself just shaking your head and turning the film off. Zoric however adds a charm to Alma that makes you root for her to succeed. Meanwhile she gets you shaking your head at her mistakes.
Another thing the film does well is that it gives you a good sense of what the people of Bosnia are feeling when it comes to politics.
Alma’s cousin for instance is reluctant to help her because he views her family as being weak. That’s because they fled/deserted the country shortly after she was born. He views himself as a patriot, while Alma called him a nationalist. As we learn it’s a fine line between both, and in a way it defines the theme of the film.
While Take Me Somewhere Nice may not be a masterpiece in the field of road trip films, the subtitled movie gets the beats right. It takes a naïve character and adds them into a situation. There they are forced to grow if they don’t want to fall behind. They face sometimes absurd situations along the way. But by the end they have a better sense of what they want and who they are. As I say this, Take Me Somewhere Nice keeps its entertaining air up to the end.