College Road Trip
Melanie Porter is preparing for college. And though her overbearing father is insisting that Northwestern, located some forty miles from their hometown, is the best place for his daughter, Melanie has her eyes set out for Georgetown. When a call comes in to tell Melanie to be in D.C. in three days for an interview that will determine her acceptance or rejection from her dream school, nerves and excitement collide. However, her father isn't sharing the same emotion as he insists on escorting her on a road trip to Georgetown. What Melanie doesn't know is that the road trip will be making some unexpected stops along the way, locations that have been predetermined by her father.
First off I want to say that the premise actually interests me. An overprotective parent and a college bound student are never a good mix, especially when trapped within the confines of a car on the way to a school that only one of them wants to attend. And even the casting of Raven Symone and Martin Lawrence was smart as both carry a strong fan base, especially for comedies. However, somewhere, something went majorly wrong.
For starters, the film is rated G – a rating that most college and high school kids stay clear of. The film is making fun of something that only older people have experienced and thus arrives at theatres with a huge strike against it. Small children aren't going to find the situations funny nor are they going to find the overall story appealing. Instead they will be confused s to the purpose of the film and overwhelmed at all the 'adult humor' that was attempted by the writers. But even if you can get past the rating and cheesiness of the film, I still can't get over the acting of both Martin Lawrence and Raven Symone.
Now I know that I just said that both have a strong fan base, and both do; however, this film saw both of them give truly ridiculous performances as each seemed to be stuck in a state of delusion. Their lines were forced, their actions predetermined and their acting skills in general were absolutely pathetic. Raven acted as if she was on another episode of That's So Raven and Martin Lawrence must have thought that he was still on the set of Roscoe Jenkins because he stunk it up in that film too. Put the two together and you have a train wreck just waiting to happen.
And then there was the idea of the 'genius pig.' I feel as if I can't watch a kid's film these days without seeing some animal with superpowers. Here we have a pig that is said to be stalking the father, though he can never convince anyone of it. The side plot line has been done before and is a terrible distraction to the main point in the film. One of these days, people are going to realize that putting an animal with special features into a film does not guarantee success, it actually detracts from it.
But with all that said I must mention the strong performances of Brenda Strong and Donny Osmond. Both actors, portraying another set of father-daughter road trip members who make the Beaver clan look like a bunch of has-beens, were surprisingly strong. And although playing annoying is not that difficult, it was more the roles in which the actors played that provided the majorities of the laughs throughout the film and helped it climb out of the disastrous hole that it was falling into.
In the end I was not pleased with College Road Trip as it lacked appeal, authenticity and heart. Thankfully there was a singing duo to save the day; without them the film would have been horribly unbearable.