Mar 13, 2008

Now Showing in Theathers: College Road Trip

Genre: Comedy
Duration: 1 hr. 23 min.
Starring: Brenda Song, Martin Lawrence, Raven Symone, Donny Osmond, Vincent Pastore,
Director: Roger Kumble
Producer: Andrew Gunn
Distributor: Buena Vista, Walt Disney Pictures
Release Date: March 7, 2008
Writer: Carrie Evans, Cinco Paul, Emi Mochizuki, Ken Daurio

Choosing which college to attend can be the most exciting and thrilling time of a young woman's life…unless your overprotective father isn't quite ready to let you go. In the Disney family comedy, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP, Melanie (RAVEN-SYMONEì) is eagerly looking forward to her first big step towards independence when she plans a 'girls only' road trip to check out prospective universities. But when her overbearing police chief father (MARTIN LAWRENCE) insists on escorting her instead, she soon finds her dream trip has turned into a hilarious nightmare adventure full of comical misfortune and turmoil.Movie Reviews:

a movie review by: Linda Cook

1 ½ stars

You know you're in trouble when a potbellied pig upstages the human actors.

"College Road Trip" is a throwback to the live-action Disney drivel from the late 1960s and 1970s . Its brainless, almost non-existent plot is padded out with lots of singing, bright costumes, dancing and appearances by Disney Channel stars.

Martin Lawrence stars as Chicago-area police chief James Porter, who just doesn't want to let go of his 17-year-old daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné , television's "That's So Raven"). Melanie wants to attend Georgetown University to study law. But her dad wants her to attend Northwestern University because it's so close to home.

Melanie lands an interview at Georgetown. Of course, she wants to make the journey with her best friends Katie and Nancy, who are heading to the University of Pittsburgh.

James has other ideas. He'll just drive Melanie to Georgetown himself. Melanie is more than disappointed, but James is ecstatic to have some "bonding time" with his daughter. Naturally, her little brother Trey (Eshaya Draper) hides in the car and is discovered there along with his pet pig Arnold (I like the reference to the "Green Acres" TV character. There's also a reference to "Charlotte's Web" in which the words "Some pig" are spelled out near Arnold).

Disaster ensues, and not just because a police chief is using an official vehicle to haul his family (this seemed to be an unethical thing for a law-enforcement officer to do). They lose their way, end up wrecking the car, and become acquainted with the most annoying father/daughter team ever: Donny Osmond and Molly Ephraim. Of course the Porters need to hitch a ride with the ever-singing duo.

What passes for acting here is a lot of yelling. This is bound to be the loudest movie of the year. Perhaps the director encouraged the cast to yell and move around a lot so that the audience wouldn't notice this really is just a bunch of slapstick skits thrown together. Lawrence always is loud and outrageous, but the rest of the performers top him in the scenery chewing department.

Oddly, right at the end, there's a really sweet moment that works beautifully. It's too bad that the rest of the movie is so obnoxious. But four different people concocted this erratic screenplay, so it's not surprising that it lacks cohesion.

Its message is in the right place, but its delivery isn't passable.


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