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Road Trip

movie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Road Trip

Starring: Breckin Meyer, Tom Green
Director: Todd Phillips
Rated: R
RunTime: 97 Minutes
Release Date: May 2000
Genre: Comedy

*Also starring: Horatio Sanz, Amy Smart, Rhoda Griffis, Anthony Rapp, Seann W. Scott, Paolo Costanzo, Andy Dick, Fred Ward, Wendell B. Harris Jr.

Review by MrBrown
2 stars out of 4

The recruited young seatfillers at the press screening audibly ate up every crass minute of this college road comedy--a scene that I am certain will be duplicated in many theatres the nation over as the film becomes one of the summer's sleeper successes. However, if you don't find gags such as, say, jumping a car over a downed bridge funny, likely you won't enjoy the string of equally unoriginal and far raunchier gags that director/co-writer (with Scot Armstrong) Todd Phillips passes off as plot. The antics are set into motion when Josh (Breckin Meyer), who attends college in Ithaca, NY, accidentally sends his Austin, TX-based girlfriend Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) a videotape of his infidelity with the fetching Beth (Amy Smart). With only three days until Tiffany returns to her dorm after a bereavement leave (her grandfather just passed), Josh and friends E.L. (Seann William Scott), Rubin (Paulo Costanzo), and Kyle (DJ Qualls) hit the road to intercept the package.

Just how much emphasis does Phillips give individual gags over basic storytelling practices? I did not know Scott's character's name until the last scene, when narrator Barry (Tom Green), who recounts the story of the film to a campus tour group, tells the characters' fates. Green will undoubtedly be the main draw for the young MTV crowd, but not only is his screen time limited, Phillips and Armstrong don't find a smooth way to fit him into the film. The framing device of the tour has a weak payoff, and Barry's involvement in the main story--he has to feed Rubin's pet snake while the guys are away--is tangential at best. Not that the main story is all that great to begin with: just a series of uninspired gags, ranging from the gross (a sperm bank interlude) to the insulting (the white quartet is scared by a room full of black men--how funny and progressive). The trip would be more tolerable if this motley crew were fun to hang out with, but with the exception of Meyer (whom I've grown to like more with each film), the travelers are annoying. Scott's E.L. is basically _American_Pie_'s obnoxious Stifler with more screen time; the character of Rubin is nondescript and Costanzo personality-free; Qualls fails to command any sympathy as the token nerd. If you're tempted to watch _Road_Trip_ by the raucous trailer, be forewarned: it gives away nearly all of the film's better jokes.

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