Love at First Bike

September 19, 2013

In “Wadjda,” out Friday, a girl wants a bicycle. Adorable, yes? One problem: She lives in Saudi Arabia, where cultural norms essentially forbid bike-riding by women. It’s extra sad because bike-riding is really fun, as seen in these two-wheeling movies.

‘Pee-wee’s Big Adventure’
In this 1985 comedy, squeaky-voiced Pee-wee discovers that his bike has been stolen and stashed in the basement of the Alamo. What follows is a cross-country journey and a lesson in 18th-century architecture.

‘Breaking Away’
A teen becomes obsessed with the Italian cycling team in this 1979 feel-good film. Possibly because of the excellent carbo-loading potential of Italian cuisine.

‘Bicycle Thieves’
This 1948 Italian film is ultimately about the futility and unfairness of life. And about how getting your bike stolen sucks.

‘Premium Rush’
2012’s best fun-but-stupid (or stupid-but-fun) film follows bike messenger Joseph Gordon-Levitt as he darts about Manhattan, delivering documents and showing off impressive quadriceps.

‘The Triplets of Belleville’
An Oscar nominee for best animated feature, this nearly wordless film from 2003 is about a woman out to rescue her grandson, who was kidnapped during the Tour de France. For some reason, we want to blame Lance Armstrong for it not winning the statue.

Kristen Page-Kirby covers film for The Washington Post Express.
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Jason Butt · September 18, 2013