I'm not really sure if I should file this under Drama or Comedy. It has sad overtones, but a lot of laughs.
Arvillas' (Jessica Lange) husband has died and his nasty daughter Francine (Christine Baranski), wants stepmother Arvilla to fly to Santa Barbara for a funeral type of tribute to dad -- with all of his "friends" around. (These are friends he hasn't seen in the 20 years since he and Arvilla have been married and live in Pocatella, Idaho, but that's Francine for ya'). So Arvilla's two loving friends Margene (Kathy Bates), and Carol (Joan Allen), decide to go along because it will be difficult for the widow to carry the ashes alone. This is all predicated on the fact that Arvilla must get out of "Daddy's" house if she refuses to bring the ashes, since they cannot find a new, updated will, and little daughter (who lives in a gorgeous mansion with swimming pool etc.) insists the house is hers.
The night before they are to leave, Arvilla decides instead of flying, to take a road trip in Arlo's big, old Bonneville, about a 1958 or so. All three ladies look like they are going the way of Sally Field and growing old gracefully, and they are all beautiful. Along the way they keep running into a truck driver Emmett (Tom Skeritt), and this is where a lot of the humor comes from. With lovely Joan Allen and Jessica Lange there, he chooses over weight, rough and ready Kathy Bates to latch on to (now, that's a man for you). There are loads of laughs and lots of tears, but the movie just keeps going along with no slow spots or places to take a break - thank goodness for pause.
This is one I highly recommend if you've never seen it. I had never heard of it until I saw it was just starting at 10:am so I turned it on, thinking I could always turn it off and watch one of my DVR programs.