Comedy / Family

College Road Trip

Distributed By: Walt Disney Pictures


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

            A couple of weeks ago, a rough week at work meant a need for laughter.  So, we headed out to the local video store in search of a decent comedy that could put us in a better mood.  The previews we had seen of College Road Trip, starring Martin Lawrence and Raven had looked promising, so we decided to check it out. 

            Police Chief James Porter has been planning out his daughter Melanie’s college career since she was in diapers.  Knowing the world abroad can be ugly, Porter has decided that his daughter should go to college close to home at Northwestern University, where he can keep a constant eye on her.  Unfortunately, Melanie doesn’t see eye to eye with her father on this.  She has dreams of going to Georgetown University where she can attend a special law program, elevating her to a new level in her legal studies.

            When Melanie is invited to interview at Georgetown by a scout present at one of her high school mock trials, she jumps at the opportunity.  Her friends offer to take her along on their road trip to visit the numerous prospective colleges on their list.  Of course, Dad is not pleased – he has worked long and hard to get Melanie into Northwestern.  With Melanie planning on going to a college so far away, how will James ever be able to keep his daughter safe?

            James decides to take Melanie on his own college road trip during which he believes that he can dissuade Melanie’s interest in Georgetown in favor of Northwestern.  Unbeknownst to them both, James’ genius son Trey and his pet pig Albert are coming along for the trip, stowed away in the back of James’ patrol vehicle.  Along the journey, events conspire to make this the most eventful college road trip known to man.

            The movie premise is nothing new – a parent struggles with the idea that his/her child is growing up as that child chomps at the bit, yearning for independence.  It is how the premise is built upon that makes the movie unique.  In this case, the comedic factor is based mostly around slapstick comedy.  The characters find themselves in the craziest of situations – cars rolling down ravines, characters jumping out of airplanes, hanging from chandeliers, etc.  The fact that College Road Trip is a Disney movie fairly dictates that the comedy will be rather clean and thus, it makes for a perfect family film.

            Martin Lawrence is surprisingly perfect as the doting father with an inability to allow his daughter the independence she so desires.  The chemistry between Martin Lawrence and Ramon made the premise of their father/daughter relationship believable.  Donnie Osmond’s appearance as the goodie-two-shoes, overly excited college road trip parent was hysterical.  But, in the end, it was Albert the Pig who steals the show with his hilarious antics, most notably his destruction of the hotel wedding after swallowing a bag full of coffee beans.

            My least favorite part of the movie was the Double Dutch Bus scene in which Raven sings the song she and her father used to sing together when she was much younger.  The scene seemed contrived to show off Raven’s singing talents – it was the only musical scene in the whole movie.  Raven has long been a Disney commodity with four albums under her belt.  There is no need for this shameless vocals promotion.

            The DVD’s special features included a gag reel and deleted scenes that only added to the fun humor found in the film, though I wish there were more deleted scenes with the pig.  What can I say?  The animal seriously cracked me up!  Also included are Raven’s Video Diary, the Double Dutch Bus music video and a behind the scenes look at the making of that video.

            College Road Trip is a fun family film.  Being a Walt Disney feature, it contains clean comedy that anyone of any age can enjoy.  For adults, that means you’re about to watch a cute film with a relatively old plot.  However, the characters carry the plot well and you will definitely get a chuckle or two out of this film.  College Road Trip is the movie to watch when you are in need of some light comedy to cheer you up after a rough day.


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