On occasion, I
take one for the team. Against my better judgment, I go
out there on the football field of noisy and predictable
movies and prepare myself to be sacked. I might be
knocked unconscious and bloodied a bit, but I do it for
the sake of the team. My teammate is my daughter.
Movies like "College Road Trip," now on DVD, are usually an automatic enticement for little girls like my sweet kid. Once those previews for this movie came out, she wanted to see it, and badly. She convinced her mom to take her to see it in the theater because I wanted no part of it. They thought it was hilarious. Now I must pay the price and watch it myself.
When seeing previews and hearing critical reviews of a movie, it's probably unfair to judge a movie without seeing it first. I'll flat out mention that I despised this movie's preview. The cute little pig seemed like a gimmick to make the kids in the audience laugh. Then there was the screaming scene of over-protective father (Martin Lawrence) and his daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné) skydiving. I've given this movie a viewing and let me just say my judgment of the film was warranted. Ugh. Why do they continue to make movies like this?
If you thought that action movies have noisy soundtracks, this one has 'em beat. Raven-Symoné and her friends in the movie scream at high pitch, causing me many times to turn down the volume on my sound system. Your tweeters will get a workout, and so might your eardrums. It's not that I don't enjoy Raven-Symoné. She's got a nice singing voice, but I don't want to hear her screeching through a movie.
Symoné was the lead on the popular Disney Channel show, "That's So Raven." She's a beautiful young woman and has personality to burn. Her personality is years beyond her age, and she's talented as an actress and singer. One would think that this film would be a ideal vehicle for her. But it's more of an exercise of torture for an adult. My wife is easily pleased by entertainment like this and she enjoyed and apparently laughed during "College Road Trip." She also likes Celine Dion and me, so that might explain a lot!
The story of an over-obsessed dad trying to protect his daughter from the grown up world isn't new. Steve Martin did an admirable job in "Father of the Bride" (1991). My daughter isn't even close to college age, and I can guarantee I'll probably be worried sick about her. After all, I was a young man in college and my motives dealing with young ladies would've had their dad's watching my moves. Martin Lawrence's performance in this movie is creepy, and this isn't supposed to be a horror movie. He's just too protective of his daughter. I found it hard to believe that the Chief of Police would be so obnoxious and so reckless as he is in this movie.
Most of the characters in "College Road Trip" are duplicates of other obnoxious characters in movies like "Are We There Yet?" and "RV." Donny Osmond is a copy of the character of Ned Flanders on "The Simpsons" and is really kind of creepy. Flanders is enjoyable, where Osmond's character isn't. The pet pig is reminiscent of the pet duck in Disney's own "The Pacifier." And the soundtrack, surprise, is filled with songs that try to match the scene. Try "Down Bring Me Down" by '70s sensation ELO for the skydiving scene, you've got and idea how much originality went into the production.
Most movies made now follow a cut-and-paste formula anyway, so it's not necessary to come down hard on "College Road Trip." It's not as bad as critics have said, but it's not very good. At least it's not as bad as another kid/tween flick, "Bratz: The Movie." I hope my team is happy I got bruised up on this movie.
Special thanks to Click Communications
Photos: © Disney. All rights reserved.
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