I've finally found it, the worst movie I've ever seen. It's been a few squeakers but nothing is going to come this close to hell. Remember the title, "In Search of America" and proceed with caution and maybe some bio hazard gear for "safety's sake."
Jeff Bridges played a disillusioned college dropout who wants to "find himself." For this movie, that route takes a circuitous turn as not only does his father want to go, so does his mom and grandmom. Movie over. What would have been cool would be to have seen the different mores and the generation gap between father and son. Didn't happen. His parents in this tragedy are Carl "The Donna Reed Show" Betz and Vera Miles. Sometimes I wish it was all a dream.
Rather quickly, the family takes a Grade A contraption across "America" and along the way they stop at a place best described as Woodstock/Purgatory. In short order, the muddy stomping ground is filled with already dated caricatures. While the movie was released in 1971, I hope for everyone's sake it was filmed a good 3 years before it was seen. Vulgar best describes such a miss in capturing the ethos of the Woodstock Generation. And really, are parents really going to be out their "grooving" with a bunch of dopers? I don't think so, especially not Grandma.
Spoiler Alert: A love story is also grafted onto this. Bridges meets up with one of the more whimsical hippies at camp and promptly put family time on ice to moon at her. The problem? She's not well. So much so her parents (Howard Duff and Kim Hunter) bogart the PA system looking for her.
More Distressing News: Sal Mineo is in this too. God help me. Clearly a full-fledged escapee from features, Mineo turns in a performance that's almost prescient in its hokeyness. He's basically Lieutenant Dan without the war. Thankfully, his screen time was brief. His hippy-ish get-up was enough to make me wrench.
A Disclaimer: This barker has been kicking around the 1.00 line for quite sometime. To appeal to the unsuspecting, the cover art depicts a much older Jeff Bridges. Don't believe it.