By Fred Topel | Image property of Walt Disney Pictures.
College Road Trip
College Road Trip reminds me of my dad. He took me on my college visiting trip along with my sister so she'll relate too. Obviously this is a silly slapstick version of it, but it brings back memories, and it's a pretty good movie too.
Movie Review: College Road Trip
Anything that could be obnoxious coasts along as cute. Martin Lawrence as the overprotective dad just seems so innocent, not like he's damaging his daughter's development at all. His schemes to steer her towards a hometown school are amusing, as blatantly silly as they are. He plays it big, but that's the audience for this.
The girls play to him too. Raven Simone and her friends are also cute, not like those obnoxious Super Sweet 16 girls. They're singing, dancing and screaming but always happy, never negative or complaining. That's good energy. They're also so innocent, with no interests in sex or drinking, yet they seem like real three dimensional girls.
They throw in a pig because it's a Disney movie and there has to be some animal antics. Even that doesn't feel obnoxious. They get some good gags out of the pig. The stuff they set up pays off and it's not even 80 minutes, so they just rock this sucker out and let you go.
Basically, College Road Trip is National Lampoon's Vacation Light. They have some funny disasters on the road, nothing like dead relatives or incest, but it's light and fun.
Of course, there are moments of heart and characters learning things, but the heartfelt moments will resonate with families. Not so much with singles but the film earns those moments. It delivers the gags, and it doesn’t overdo the sweetness.
They let Raven sing, because that's what the kids are paying for. They make Donny Osmond sing covers of standards but they play one of his original tracks over the credits.
Are you really going to complain about contrived situations and coincidences? This isn't No Country for Old Men. It's basically Father of the Graduate, with the appropriate level of maturity for this milestone.