I have one, so I should know. But surely a road trip across the States should please even the most cynical critic?
The plan was to start in LA, drive the coastal route to San Francisco, then join a bus tour through Nevada and Arizona.
"I've seen it all on the TV and films anyway," complained my 14-year-old son Tom when I explained he'd be spending the summer travelling with his mum.
He changed his tune when we stopped at Half Moon Bay to go horse-riding and whale watching. We stay at Cameron's Inn (www.cameronsinn.com), which has a London taxi, red pillar box and double-decker in the car park.
The San Francisco that greets us is more interesting, dynamic, gritty, urgent and messy than it appears on screens.
Our base is the Westin St Francis hotel, which has played host to a number of Hollywood celebrities Room 1219 is where the first million-dollar star allegedly killed someone. You can still stay in the room if you so wish. Tom loves all this gruesome history. Most teenagers do.
But Alcatraz is his favourite attraction. You need to book a month in advance to go on the island itself, longer if you travel during the summer holidays.
The audio tour as you walk between cells - learning about the inmates - is fascinating.
After the urban adventure, we embark on a four-hour drive to Yosemite. Our van driver and tour guide Brian, a 20-something from Memphis, Tennessee, buzzes with enthusiasm and boundless energy.
We camp overnight and take it in turns to play guitar around the campfire. But those flames are nothing compared to the 50C heat of Death Valley, where we head the following morning.
Our next stop is Las Vegas.
"This is incredible mum," he shouts. "It's a city of lights in the middle of a desert.".
A helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon also proves a big hit. No film or TV programme has ever done this place justice!
Continuing our journey, we briefly stop off at Lake Havasu to camp for the night, then make our way to the Joshua Tree National Park.
Despite the searing heat, my 14-year-old reckons a road trip with his mum was definitely as cool as ice.