For millions of Americans, summer is synonymous with road trips. But if you're balking at rising gas prices, consider loading the family up and heading to your local movie theater to explore America on the big screen.

More than 10 years in the making, America's Heart and Soul criss-crosses the nation profiling everyday people doing what they do every day. People like Roudy Roudebush, the last cowboy in Telluride, Colorado—and the first of 24 vignettes that make up this film. Roudy fits the gruff cowboy stereotype to a tee, complete with bushy mustache and a horse he actually rides into his local saloon (to drink water; he's a recovering alcoholic). Admittedly, I could feel the cynicism building in my esophagus. "C'mon! A cowboy? Puh-leese." But when the camera captured Roudy riding along the ridge of his mountain ranch I was confronted with a scene so beautiful I couldn't help but give into the slightly sappy Americana. "These mountains are an inspiration to me on a daily basis. You feel deep roots when you live on the Continental Divide for 30 years. It's the backbone of America and maybe it makes me strong just looking at it." So much for the snark.

America's Heart and Soul reverberates with a keen sense of place. It's palpable in the Cajun drawl of Marc Savoy, who lives in Louisiana on land that's been in his family for over 250 years. His children are the seventh generation living on the property, and when Marc and his wife Ann sit in the front yard with friends and family and play their guitars and accordions, it's clear there's an ethos in such living that's hard to duplicate in suburban subdivisions.

Vermont dairy farmer George Woodard leads a very full life

Vermont dairy farmer George Woodard leads a very full life

Over and over, director Louis Schwartzberg features people, more than 25 in all, doing something that's specific ...

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America's Heart and Soul
Our Rating
3 Stars - Good
Average Rating
(not rated yet)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
PG (for mild thematic elements)
Directed By
Louie Schwartzberg
Run Time
1 hour 24 minutes
George Woodard, Charles Jimmie Sr., The Vasquez Brothers
Theatre Release
July 02, 2004 by Walt Disney Pictures
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