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Overall Rating

Awesome: 23.01%
Worth A Look29.2%
Average: 22.12%
Pretty Bad: 20.35%
Total Crap: 5.31%

6 reviews, 77 user ratings

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Road Trip
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by Erik Childress

"Few Laughs Equal Pale Imitation of Better Movies"
2 stars

Was American Pie really worth all the brain-dead wannabe clones that are destined to follow it in the wake of its $100 million success? I don’t think so. Road Trip is in the genre of film designed solely to make us laugh and nothing more and that’s fine. Anything deeper added to the mix can only make it a stronger film and a cut above your run-of-the-mill teen laughfest. But Road Trip is a film that fails on so many levels, committing even the cardinal sin of forgetting to consistently make us laugh.

Breckin Meyer stars as Josh, your average movie good-guy potentially failing college student, who has been in love with his longtime “girlfriend” Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) practically since birth. Josh’s friend E.L. (American Pie’s Seann William Scott), encourages him to pursue Beth (Amy Smart), a fellow student with an interest in him. It doesn’t take much convincing, especially after Beth, the easiest “nice girl” I’ve ever seen in the movies, takes Josh to the temple of pleasure three times and videotapes it. Lucky for Josh. Not so lucky for Josh is one of those wacky movie mix-ups where the sex, lies and videotape are mailed to Tiffany instead of the lovelorn Real World confessional Josh had planned. So the road trip is on and wackiness ensues. At least, so we hoped.

If the plot sounds vaguely familiar, that’s because it’s virtually identical to Overnight Delivery. In that film a college guy thinks his girlfriend (at another college) is cheating on him so he decides to get back at her by sending her some compromising photographs with a fellow student. Needless to say, he discovers he’s wrong and ends up on a cross-country trip to beat the package to its destination. So much for an original concept. But who needs originality when you have the power of laughter. Unfortunately, Road Trip has no originality or a major laugh quotient.

As Randy in Scream would say, the rules are clearly defined in a comedy of this sort. The trip will start out fun, but the mode of transportation must be destroyed in some way, sending our heroes on foot to make one crazy encounter after the other. Yet Road Trip has the feel of a family trip taken one too many times. A talking dog during a drug scene was funnier as a clairvoyant cat in Go. A trip to the sperm bank does include an original way to complete a transaction, but still pales in comparison to Leslie Nielsen’s multiple deposits in Naked Gun 33 1/3. And while many of the jokes are stolen directly from better films, the filmmakers seem to have no clue why certain things are funny or should be funny. Consider the scene where E.L. goes to commandeer a vehicle from the conveniently close school for the blind. He cons the friendly visually impaired receptionist into taking one of their buses, but there is nothing funny about the scene. Nothing remotely funny is said and Mary Lynn Rajskub plays the blind woman with such seriousness and pathos that it’s hard to find this action anything but just plain cruel. Now, maybe that’s the fault of the actress, but the Farrelly Bros., in Dumb and Dumber, found the humor in giving a blind kid a headless parakeet. None of that humor is to be found here. There is a level of general humorless cruelty running throughout Road Trip. When the guys pretend to be members of a black fraternity (a similar situation much funnier in Revenge of the Nerds), the frat boys decide to plant a KKK mask in their bags, just to scare them, before welcoming them with open arms to their party later that night. That joke would have barely survived Blazing Saddles and while I can appreciate any kind of edgy risk-taking comedy in today’s PC-society, it still has to be funny.

The plot is a throwaway in this kind of genre. It’s just something to hang outrageous situations and big laughs on until the end credits roll. But situations are only part of the game and it all starts with the characters who, in Road Trip, are incredibly boring. American Pie’s four guys all were sweet, naïve and funny. And they all had their own motivations. Road Trip’s cast seems to be looking for the shortest distance between the studio logo and the end credits. Josh is your regular straight man hero and while we’re supposed to root for him, I wasn’t sure what path I was supposed to root for. There is absolutely nothing sweet or romantic about either of the potential romantic interests. Beth seems to be the bad girl, but a nice bad girl while Tiffany is the goody-goody symbol of purity that isn’t as deserving to wear white as Josh might think. E.L. is the troublemaker of the gang, but a decent guy. Normally he would be one to get all of the good lines, but the conversation he conducts on the road about the rules of cheating just shows how amateurish and obvious the writing feels. The other roadies consist of pothead brainiac Ruben (Paulo Costanzo), sort of a dumbed down version of Val Kilmer’s Chris Knight in the superior Real Genius. Even a creepy overachieving TA (Anthony Rapp) resembles Kilmer’s nemesis, Kent, in that film. The fourth tripper is skinny nerd Kyle (D.J. Qualls) who makes Ally McBeal look like Camryn Manheim. Why is he a nerd? Because he doesn’t have a girlfriend, doesn’t do drugs and wears an Atari shirt. Yes – Atari – a game system most modern day college students would barely have been old enough to play, let alone remember. Fred Ward plays Kyle’s demanding cop father, reprising the same character he played in Secret Admirer back in 1985. Tom Green plays Barry, who doesn’t get to go on the trip, but is allowed to play with a snake and narrate the story to a group of incoming students and their parents. Green is very funny on his MTV show, but if he continues to choose movie projects like this, he’s liable to become the next Pauly Shore.

I laughed a few times during Road Trip. The result of the car jump, a snake bite, a creative way to re-prepare french toast, and an explanation of why the gratuitous nudity exists in the film do provide some chuckles. But, frankly, Tim Matheson and Peter Riegert merely saying the words “road trip” in Animal House inspires more laughs than anything in this film. I counted at least three times when a decent joke has to be explained to other characters and in essence the audience as well; the filmmakers taking us for idiots. Sure many will appreciate Amy Smart taking her top off in a bid to become the Phoebe Cates of the new century and others will think the old man on Viagra is the work of comedy geniuses. But I laugh fifty times more spending an hour with my friends over a meal, so I can’t recommend spending $8 on all 97 minutes of Road Trip.

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originally posted: 05/19/00 08:27:34
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User Comments

8/19/08 Shaun Wallner Well Made! 5 stars
6/09/06 Anthony Feor Whatever happend to potential 3 stars
5/04/06 tapper real funny you should watch the second one 4 stars
9/14/05 matt very very funny, but plot makes no sense and tom green is funny but useless 4 stars
8/03/05 John Smith This movie RULES, IT"S THE BEST MOVIE I'VE EVER SINCE, 5 stars
7/23/05 Bad Critic An okay movie. Maybe that's because I saw the edited version! 3 stars
1/29/05 movie boi any person who cant c this is funny is a fuckd up prick. fuck u who ses it isnt! FUNNY SHIT 5 stars
8/03/04 Anthony G hahha 4 stars
5/15/04 Jake heimdahl a very great movie 4 stars
4/27/04 4x4 Talking dog rocked. Fred Ward out of control. Pretty average. 3 stars
3/28/04 Littlepurch Quite funny but disappointing compared to what I'd been told about it. 3 stars
1/08/04 A F Two funny parts in this movie. Amy Smart...num.num.num. 4 stars
9/19/03 Samuel Justus Funny! 5 stars
8/02/03 Curious George Funny 5 stars
7/25/03 R.W. Welch Occasionally amusing road pic. Two or three clever gags. 3 stars
7/25/03 3man Marginally funny and the characters are not very likeable. 2 stars
7/17/03 Hey Wat NOw? another classic from Tom Green 5 stars
6/09/03 Geo78665 Some laughs, fairly entertaining, but too often mundune. 3 stars
6/07/03 Pascal Get it, it is much better than American Pie! 5 stars
5/23/03 Mr. Hat (I'm Back, Mo'Fos!) Some funny bits, namely Sanz & Green/mouse/snake, but no moral center @ all. 3 stars
3/03/03 Jack Sommersby A bunch of been-there-before nonsense. Amy Smart is unquestionably a babe, though. 2 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum Dumb 1 stars
11/01/02 Jessica Davis ( male and female are NOT races, I'm I(L)WIJ! 4 stars
6/14/02 Piz A few great laughs mixed in with everything else you'd expect from a movie with this title. 4 stars
6/06/02 I'm in (L) with a Jedi a pisser, but sumhow im guessing that the male race enjooyed this more than the female race 5 stars
5/21/02 patrick mia maber davis 4 stars
4/03/02 actress var. known as Charlize Theron, Ashley Judd, and Angelina Jolie Snarrel movie! Wish I'd been in it! 5 stars
3/08/02 Mo Anand funniest of the teen comedies in my opinion 5 stars
2/20/02 Doug Funny. 5 stars
2/20/02 NWO4LIFE Watchable, some laughs, but mostly routine and forgettable teen gross-out flick. 3 stars
2/15/02 Bri Amy naked, funny. 5 stars
9/27/01 bobby mack mia amber davis fine ass hell whats her e-mail adress and send it to me at mackfrost@hotmai 5 stars
9/27/01 Butterbean Out of all those hot black studs, that girl went for that Ramen noodle. Yeah right. 3 stars
6/12/01 orlando g it sucked, but it was THE BEST! 5 stars
6/06/01 The Moorhen A little tip to the ladies.... I'm a guy who's just like Rubin :-) 4 stars
5/22/01 Eric one of my favorite movies! 5 stars
4/16/01 LiL Well, what a load of sexist horse shit 1 stars
4/16/01 Tam Hysterical. Rubin is my ideal man - why does no-one like him sexist in real life? 4 stars
4/09/01 Gary Everyone says this movie is good. The story line sucks and it is boring, but funny at time 3 stars
3/01/01 marijke great film..i just love rubin..where can i meet guys like him? 5 stars
3/01/01 Phil Peters great movie 5 stars
2/24/01 Marie Kind of funny. 3 stars
2/13/01 Egg36 It rips off a lot of movies, but its still decent. 3 stars
2/04/01 Del R Not too much Tom Green which is a good thing 4 stars
1/17/01 Gary Hardly a speck of originality but i laughed tons 3 stars
1/17/01 hippylad what a fantastic film, seann william scott is a real hottie mmmmmmmmmmm 5 stars
1/12/01 svetlana tom green's fucked up weirdness is its only saving grace 3 stars
1/12/01 Matt69 That Amy Smart bitch is so fucking hot, and tom green is one crazy motherfucker 3 stars
1/06/01 Emily funny, some great characters! 4 stars
12/28/00 Tom That ass orgasm was a fucking crackup!! and Amy Smart is HOT!! oh it's funny too :Þ 5 stars
10/30/00 Matthew Bartley Not original by any means but who cares when it's still really funny 4 stars
9/06/00 Matthew Boxall It's me!!! 5 stars
8/29/00 Juan a few good laughs, loved tom green and the atari guy, its alright. 4 stars
7/30/00 mason no art , no "cutting edge" camera work just pure boneheaded comedy . everyone laughed , yea 4 stars
7/06/00 Pattie barraza not 2 stars
6/14/00 Barry Pinnacle of college movies. PLEASE Hollywood make more of these masterpieces! Tom Green too 5 stars
6/11/00 chouck Funnier than I expected 4 stars
6/01/00 PJ It's not great, it's not bad, it's good, but very funny 3 stars
5/31/00 PhilmPhreak Road Trip - It Doesn't Suck 5 stars
5/30/00 Michael Grimm I agree with The Bomb, hilarious movie that does copy other films 5 stars
5/28/00 The Bomb 69 so what if it copies other films!!! At least it picked a funny movie to copy. Asswipes!!! 5 stars
5/25/00 PhilmPhreak Funny. Amy Smart is hot. 3 stars
5/25/00 Denning If the Atari guy doesn't make you laugh then you need to quit taking life so seriously. 4 stars
5/24/00 Chen Kenichi Yawn, is Tom Green's 15 minutes up yet? 2 stars
5/24/00 Brian Govoni wait til the video comes out, then DON'T rent it. 1 stars
5/22/00 Clarance Great fun and a hilarious movie! 4 stars
5/22/00 Gavin Moore Grade A toilet humor, Tom Greene is funny as hell 4 stars
5/21/00 Cinesuerte American Pie 2 - French Toast tom green lied it's not that good. 3 stars
5/21/00 Reverend Krule How did i waste my money on this???? 1 stars
5/21/00 mellemel American Pie was way funnier! 3 stars
5/20/00 bobbuttons This movie was great. I laughed evertime Tom Greene was on. Great casting (esp. Kyle) 5 stars
5/16/00 Orgazmo In the tradition of 'American Pie', a raw, gross-out comedy with BIG laughs 4 stars
5/16/00 Justine Briggs At the sneak I saw on Friday the audience LOVED the movie. 4 stars
5/15/00 Thomas Ballard Lesemann Good grief. Haven't there been enough "college kid party movies" released in recent years? 2 stars
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  19-May-2000 (R)
  DVD: 01-Mar-2011


  24-Aug-2000 (M)

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