College Road Trip / Dustin Rowles
Film Reviews | March 10, 2008 | Comments ()
Why would God even invent movies?! Why! Why! Why! (*pout pout pout*) The Supreme Being is one mighty sick fuck — if he is all powerful, would somebody please explain to me why he’d use that power to create a medium for which Satan’s minions could mentally torture us en masse. Donny Osmond and Martin Lawrence — in the same movie! This is Adam’s fault, isn’t it? That motherfucker bit the apple, and this how God punishes us. Christ on a Thorny Dildo! Throw me into eternity’s bonfire and stick a spiked poker up my ass; make me gargle a volcano’s ejaculate; force me to watch “The View” on endless repeat (the Rosie O’Donnel version, even) just don’t ever make me experience College Road Trip again. I need a brain douche; squirt some boiling vinegar and antiseptic into my ear; inject Scrub n’ Bubbles through my nasal cavity, anything, God anything to cleanse my mind of what I’ve just witnessed.
I don’t think I’ve quite captured my hatred for College Road Trip. I don’t think there are enough synonyms for hate in the thesaurus (loathe and execrate are powerlessly weak up against the force of my indescribable disdain). I feel as though I’ve just had my urethra jerked out and pulled over my face. Granted, I am a critic who is given the hyperbole on occasion, but I like to think that that relative to others in my profession, I’m spare with superlatives. But, I’ve seen an incredible amount of family films; both me and my alter ego have reviewed most of Martin Lawrence’s movies over the past four years (sure, I didn’t actually watch one of them), and I can safely say: This is not only the worst Lawrence film I’ve suffered through, but it may be the worst family film I’ve ever suffered through in my whole goddamn increasingly miserable life — College Road Trip actually made me long for the simple atrociousness of Ice Cube, Vin Diesel, Tim Allen, and Eddie Murphy family flicks; at least with those, I could articulate my contempt. But this … this abomination … this monstrosity … this aborted love child of Godzilla and a skyscraper of excrement was just …
I need to be held. That’s all I’m saying. I need a long warm bubble bath and a good cry. Maybe some of that aromatherapy and some hot stones I can lie on and then, afterwards, pick up and motherfucking brain Martin Lawrence with. Has anyone actually seen that guy lately? His jowls are swollen or something — I didn’t think it was possible, but I think that maybe his frontal lobe is trying to detach itself and escape through his mouth. It’s almost there, too — run little lobe, run.
Anyway, Melanie Porter (Raven-Symone — can someone please explain her popularity?) is a high-school senior set to go to Northwestern and make a happy man out of her Chicago-based psychotically overprotective father, James (Lawrence) (think Tony Danza in She’s Out of Control and ratchet up the levels of annoying by a zoogle). However, after Melanie (inexplicably pronounced Melo-dee by Lawrence) gets the Big Bad Wolf off on a technicality in her school’s mock trial (apparently, Granny’s house should’ve been built to withstand his puffs), the judge in the case gets her an interview at her dream school, Georgetown — 700 miles away. So, guess what, kids? Dad decides to drive her himself, discovering shortly into the trip that his Aspergerish son and his chess-playing pig were stowed away in his SUV. Torturish, mind-eviscerating shenanigans ensue: The SUV rolls over; the pig, hopped up on coffee beans, crashes a wedding; the family hitches a ride to the bus station with a murderously cruel show-tunes singing father, played by Satan himself, Donny Osmond; they ride to Pittsburgh in a Japanese karaoke bus, where Raven-Symone sings “Double Dutch Bus”; James is jailed after being discovered hiding under the bed at a sorority house; hugs are spread around like the Agranulocytosis; and worst of all, everyone fucking lives.
There are no real jokes in College Road Trip; there’s nothing much resembling a plot, either; and the situational contrivances that makes up the majority of the film are sternum shatteringly painful. Mostly, College Road Trip involves nearly 90 minutes of Lawrence and Raven-Symone mugging, eye-bugging, and speaking in exaggerated voices, like a Disney version of Sean Penn Theater. For the life of me, I can’t figure out why College Road Trip was Rated G, considering that it inspires more violence than a thousand Quentin Tarantino films would. There was a study a few months ago, in fact, that showed that “violent films prevent violent crime by attracting would-be assailants and keeping them cloistered in darkened, alcohol-free environs.” College Road Trip is sure to have just the opposite effect, fostering in its audience a ferocious, near unquenchable bloodthirst that can only be snuffed out by actual human sacrifice, preferably of those involved in the making of this film, though anyone sharing a likeness would certainly do.
To make matters worse, the screening I attended was actually part of one of those grade-school birthday parties you often see advertised before the trailers, though I never knew that anyone actually paid good money to have seats rented out in a half-empty theater. I just want to take a moment to say “Brittany,” whoever you are: Happy Birthday. I’m sure that your parents love you very much and that they are very well-intentioned people. In time, I hope you’ll forgive them for this. The loss of actual brain mass and the psychic trauma that you suffered (not to mention the embarrassment of having it inflicted upon your friends as well) may very well keep you out of your own dream school, dashing your hopes of becoming an astronaut or a neurosurgeon and, perhaps, starting you on your way toward a life of drugs and prostitution, but you can’t hold this against your folks forever. The sooner you let go, Brittany, the sooner the emotional wounds will heal. You may never be the same again, but hopefully, someday, you’ll be able to resume something akin to a normal life. Be well, Brittany. Be well.
Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife and son in Ithaca, New York. He does not believe in spankings, though he might reconsider if he caught his son watching a Martin Lawrence film. You may email him, or leave a comment below.