Urban Cinefile
"The job is pretend, right? It's pretending. What you can't do is take pretend into the business. The business is real"  -Russell Crowe
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Monday, October 23, 2017 

Search SEARCH FOR A VIDEO_FILE
Our Review Policy OUR REVIEW POLICY
Printable page PRINTABLE PAGE

Help/Contact

ROAD TRIP

SYNOPSIS:
Barry (Tom Green) is a freaky campus tour guide at an upstate New York University. To inspire a group of prospective students, he recounts his pals’ legendary road trip. As Barry explains, hunky freshman Josh (Breckin Meyer) is hanging onto a long-distance relationship with his childhood sweetheart Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard). But when he’s seduced by hot-bodded Beth (Amy Smart), she videotapes their steamy dorm room romp, and the tape is accidentally mailed to Tiffany. Josh enlists the help of three college buds, E.L. (Seann William Scott), Rubin (Paulo Costanzo), Kyle (DJ Qualls), for a cross-country mission to rescue the incriminating evidence before Tiffany sees it. Of course, Barry’s version of events contains lots of naked women….

"It requires a special kind of creative insanity – and I mean this in the nicest possible way – to take as traditional a genre as the American road movie and turn it into four freshmen’s orgiastic odyssey from Ithaca to Austin. Director/co-writer, Todd Phillips – who reserves himself a cameo as a surreptitious toe-sucker (a ticklish job but someone’s got to do it?) – discards all notions of subtlety, and passionately embraces shock value, in an all out attempt to entertain and a clear determination not to enlighten. Making the narrator, played with considerable relish by Tom Green, a near-certifiably insane sociopath is an excellent device for justifying the excesses of the outré action. We’re never quite sure what to believe from recollections that have been filtered through the dark … er, darker . . . side of this lucid lunatic’s imagination. Depth defying in its lowbrow absurdity, and replete with generous doses of lewdness, crudeness, bad taste, nubile nudity and a star turn by a boa constrictor, there is enough crunch to this comedic caper’s crassness that it might have found itself a niche as a genuine cult classic if not for a disappointingly dull denouement. In fact, the final twenty-odd minutes are pretty lame – something which couldn’t be said of the Viagra –enlivened, geriatric genitalia featuring in one of the most hilariously preposterous scenes."
Brad Green

Having the screwy, agoraphobic, snake-feeding masochist Tom Green (MTV’s off-the-wall prankster) recall the road trip is a nice way to frame this hilarious adventure. Any cracks in credibility are thus attributed to the unreliable narrator, and there are indeed some inventive, Porky-esque cracks - mostly of Barry’s lurid fantasies. College films are about having a rockin’ good time, so the morally uptight and the sexually repressed should stay away from this one. For the rest of us, Road Trip is gloriously good fun - not exactly wholesome fun – but it thankfully lacks the misplaced sentimentality of its gross-out cousins American Pie and There’s Something About Mary. After all, what kind of film has you laughing at a grown man coaxing a pet snake to eat a mouse by almost ingesting it himself? Road Trip pushes the morality envelope more evenly than its cousins; there’s no slap-in-the-face howler like Mary’s hair gel or Pie’s flute jokes, but it still goes to extremes. The snake joke is tempered to perfection. The encounter between Seann William Scott (the semen-spiked beer swiller in Pie) and a "helpful" nurse at the sperm bank is outrageous (think Jim Carrey’s anal attraction in Me, Myself, & Irene, another crude cousin). To top the gross-out contest, Kyle’s (DJ Qualls) peanut butter gag is a killer. It’s all a rich tapestry of puerile adolescent hijinks. So what’s changed since the days of Porky’s and Animal House some twenty years ago? Not much. Ivan Reitman produced Animal House, where Tim Matheson screamed ‘Road Trip’ to his buddies and it led to one of the film’s most memorable moments. Reitman, the genius, has remembered the power of that scene, and that nothing changes in youth, and so he returns as executive producer here. So if you’re offended by lowest common denominator humour, class dismissed. If that’s your bag, baby, then sit down and shut up – school’s in."
Shannon J. Harvey

"And the Academy Of Dubious Distinctions For New Lows In A Gross-Out Comedy Produced By A Major Studio presents its award to.......Road Trip. This Dreamworks production makes American Pie look like P.G. Wodehouse as it turns frat-house into scat-house. The antics of all-American kids for whom education is something else that might also happen at college while not drinking beer, smoking dope and looking to score is a time-honoured tradition in movies and when done right, e.g. Animal House, it's a lot of fun. This is matter-of-taste territory so if the following checklist of ingredients sounds appetising, Road Trip is the film for you. Here goes. Guys who can't wait to tell their mates about the girl they just had sex with; attempted shrimping (or toe-sucking as it's commonly known) on an interstate bus; a passenger offering another her vibrator (on the same bus); interracial sex with alarming differences in body dimensions; geriatrics with erections; live mouse swallowing; stoned pets; jokes at the expense of blind people and a greasy diner waiter licking a piece of toast, placing it down the back of his track suit pants, farting and serving it up to the geek at the table. Oh sorry, I just spoiled one of the "highlights". All these elements and more are welcome if there's a modicum of style and wit to go with it but sadly none creeps in. This is a Road Trip with precious few laughs although judging by the reactions of a vocal minority at the preview screening I attended there appears to be an audience even for this pitiful outing."
Richard Kuipers

Email this article

CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 1
Unfavourable: 1
Mixed: 1

ROAD TRIP (MA)
(US)

CAST: Seann William Scott, Breckin Meyer, DJ Qualls, Fred Ward, Andy Dick and Rachel Blanchard

DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips

PRODUCER: Daniel Goldberg, Joe Medjuc

SCRIPT: Todd Phillips, Scot Armstrong

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mark Irwin

EDITOR: Sheldon Kahn

MUSIC: Mike Simpson

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Clark Hunter

RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: UIP

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: August 24, 2000

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal Pictures

VIDEO RELEASE: February 21, 2001







© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2017