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Road Trip
2000 - R - Mins.
Director: Todd Phillips
Producer: Dan Goldberg, Joe Medjuck
Starring: Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, Paulo Costanzo, DJ Qualls
Review by: John Ulmer
   
Hollywood likes road trip movies. Ever since films such as "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "Midnight Run" hit theaters back in the 80s, Hollywood has liked to bombard us with films about people on road trips doing funny things and getting caught in odd situations. Kevin Smith even paid his homage to John Hughes ("Planes...) with "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," I suppose.

"Road Trip" is a disgusting and insulting film, but also an occasionally very funny film, cashing in on the Farrelly Brothers and "American Pie." It is directed by Todd Phillips, whose 2003 comedy "Old School" was about a bunch of guys in their 30s who decided to open up an off-campus fraternity and re-live their old college glory days, despite the fact that they had families to care for.

As "Old School" was an homage to "Animal House," "Road Trip" (2000) is an homage to just about any crude film about sex-crazed teenagers you can think of.

The formula was done already in "Overnight Delivery," but it is done better here. An Ithaca college-goer named Josh Parker (Breckin Meyer) misses his girlfriend, who is going to another college far away, and caves in to pressure and has a one night stand with a fellow classmate, Beth (Amy Smart). They tape their intimacy, but the tape is mistakenly sent to Josh's girlfriend.

Sent on a road trip to retrieve the tape before his girlfriend receives it, Josh and his band of pals, E.L. (Seann William Scott), Kyle (DJ Qualls), and Rubin (Paulo Costanzo), all experience some humilating moments along the way, including a French toast incident and lots of talk about nothing but what we'd expect from a film like this.

Meanwhile, the narrative device of the story, and the major comedic relief, is MTV's Tom Green, who plays Barry, a quirky guy who gives tours of the campus even though he has absolutely no knowledge of its past whatsoever. What does he use as a time waster? Josh's story -- every single time a tour group comes around the campus.

This is as basic as crude sex comedies get, but it has its highlights. Some of the scenes, such as the French toast and mouse eating bits, have become pretty infamous, sorta like the hair gel in "There's Something About Mary" and the beer bottles in "Dumb and Dumber." If you like crude, irreverent comedies, "Road Trip" is a safe bet for a night in. I enjoyed it for what it was, although I have seen much better, and Todd Phillips' "Old School" was a step above this material, making me think that perhaps his next film, a remake of TV's "Starsky and Hutch," with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson, might be really good. And, after that, "The Six Million Dollar Man" with Jim Carrey. Reviving old TV shows might not be the best bet for an aspiring director, though. And every time he releases a film, he puts it onto "unrated" DVDs, which more or less just add a few deleted scenes that weren't necessarily too raunchy too include in the final cut, but just too long. What's with that?
 
Movie Guru Rating
Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not. Average but solid.  Fans of this genre will probably enjoy it.  Others may not.
  3 out of 5 stars

 
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