College Road Trip review by Tom Blain

Let me ask you a question: When you hear the title College Road Trip what sort of film do you expect? What past movie experiences come to mind? For me its simple. IN movies the word College can be broken into two areas: Scholastic and Partying til you are Stupid. A movie like Paper Chase can show a more serious scholastic side to college, whereas a movie like Animal House or Old School would display the Partying til you are Stupid side. Now we move on to the second part of the title Road Trip. A road trip would suggest a group of people traveling impromptu by highway, looking forward to discovering the unknown.

Putting the two together, you get the films title College Road Trip which would hint at some ruckus partying time on the road as a bunch of college students look forward to discovering the unknown (and a kegger). If thats the movie, then sign me up.

And I did get signed up to see College Road Trip. Then I got the DVD. Right away I noticed Maht-iiiinnnn!! The inclusion of Martin Lawrence led me to believe that this movie might not be what I expect, but still the title should bear out ripe fruits. But it wasnt until I discovered the word DISNEY positioned above the title that I knew all of my instincts had deceived me. But the clincher? Thats So Raven star Raven Symone as the co-star. I was about to become a part of a Disney teen vehicle. I might as well have gotten my ticket stamped for Hannah Montana or High School: The Musical. And by that I mean, I might as well have wasted 85 minutes of my life.

Synopsis time: Melanie Porter (Disney conglomerate Raven Symone) is a college ready high school teen. She is like SO ready to get away from her over-protective dad (Martin Lawrence). I mean really! He wont even let her dance. Get out!! He like, constantly spies on her and makes sure she is home by a certain time. I mean its totally not fair. And get this he wants her to like, go to Northwestern, but she is SO into Georgetown its not even funny. Like she could become this awesome lawyer and stuff from Georgetown but he only wants her to go to Northwestern and stay close to home. So typical!?!? So he like takes her on this road trip to visit Georgetown but on the way totally tricks her into seeing Northwestern first.. Ughhhh.. he just doesnt get it. But there is this cute little pig in the movieOOOOHHH!!! I so want one now !!!!

Ok, enough of the mall-talk. As you can see, it bothered me. But going back to my expectations... I guess I should be relieved by the fact that Disney is making movies featuring high school teens that are looking forward to going to college for personal education and enlightment; not just to get drunk, stoned, and have lots of crazy sex. Its refreshing to have a puritan film about the subject because there is a lot of dirty smut. And some of that is in my current library. But at the same time there is still something about Disney that puts me on edge. It the plays down to teens (teen lingo, teen perspective) to the point where average adults cant listen to dialogue without gagging. The adults in the film (Martin Lawrence in particular) are played off as goofy, uncooridinated, and out of synch with the more sophisticated and empowered teens. Its playing up to characters like Melanie being treated like a narcissistic princess. I'm not saying that this behavior doesn't exist in the real world, but Disney shows films like this do more than portray this behavior; they promote it.

The movie also plays up to fairy tale-esque expectations by falsely portraying the home of a Chicago suburb cop to be comparable to someone who makes 5x as much money. There is so much myth, fantasy, and teen narcissism that the point of the film and its few positive qualities get lost.

Oh and there is also a number where Raven Symone sings on a bus full of Asian tourists. Thats pretty much the final straw.

It maybe unfair of me to rate this film so poorly as I (30-year old married with no children critic) am definitely NOT the target audience. Having said that a movie is released to the general public of which I am a part. Even if you take out the positives there are so many exaggerated negatives that I can not give this movie a favorable rating.




2 out of 10 Jackasses
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