Road Trip

On the road again. Our determined foursome (Constanzo, Meyer, Scott and Qualls) don't let a little thing like an exploding car stop them...
dir Todd Phillips
scr Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong
with Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Paulo Constanzo, DJ Qualls, Tom Green, Amy Smart, Anthony Rapp, Rachel Blanchard, Fred Ward, Andy Dick, Horatio Sanz, Mia Amber Davis
DreamWorks 00/US 2 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
As a gross-out comedy, Road Trip is surprisingly less ribald than most, keeping its storyline (basically) in the real world and making a bit more of its characters. Don't get me wrong, it's still relentless in its attempts to be disgusting and puerile, but it never scales the heady heights of There's Something About Mary or South Park to be outrageously funny. Even though it tries.

At Ithaca University in New York, Josh (Meyer) thinks his life-long girlfriend Tiffany (Blanchard), who's at the University of Texas in Austin (not Boston), has dumped him. In his confusion he succumbs to the charms of the gorgeous Beth (Smart), a magical moment captured on a videotape, which accidentally gets mailed to Tiffany. So Josh and his pals--womanising EL (Scott), brainy (Constanzo), nerdy Kyle (Qualls)--head off across country to intercept the tape. Hilarity ensues as the journey, naturally, doesn't go as smoothly as they think it will.

Intriguingly, the film never really cuts loose in the comedy department, keeping things rather straightforward. In some ways this makes the film work better as a rom-com, in that the characters are actually human beings. But it never remotely delivers on the rowdy promise of its premise, despite a few manic sequences, including any scene with Green in it (he narrates the story as he gives potential Ithaca students a campus tour) and Beth's trip to Boston (not Austin) to confront Josh's girlfriend. Other bits don't work at all, such as Kyle's father (Ward) going on the warpath. The actors are surprisingly good and the story has a certain charm in it, punctuated by the usual antics and quirky characters and situations that keep things moving breezily. But the film never becomes funny/sweet/audacious enough to be terribly noteworthy.

[15--themes, language, innuendo] 9.Oct.00
US release 19.May.00; UK release 13.Oct.00

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"I think Road Trip is definitely one of the best films I've ever seen. I think Mia Amber Davis is really fine. No joke!" --David Humphreys, net 19.Jun.01

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall