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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pilot at the Movies

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

'College Road Trip' gets a flat

Oh please, please make it stop.

The parade of inane, tedious fare being currently passed off as comedy roll on the "College Road Trip," which I would assume a person would only consider seeing because it happens to be the only new flick at the local multiplex this week (and their TV and internet are on the blink, every video store in the county has burned down and they've already watched the clothes going around in the drying this week.)

Now it is possible that a few inebriated frat rat types will wander in, thinking that the title indicates this to be another "American Pie" knock-off. In reality, it's a wholesome Disney take on the father-daughter experience of the college visit.

If that sounds like a pretty slim story to stretch into an hour and a half, you got the picture.

Really? Do we need more Martin Lawrence vehicles? The same old stereotypical, over-the-top, in need of a chill pill character recycled yet again?

Lawrence is the overprotective police chief daddy of Melanie, played by Raven-Symone, all grown up from her Cosby Show days. Basically, Daddy wants his little girl to stay home and go to safe Northwestern, while she dreams of going to Northwestern and being her own person.

Lawrence is borderline creepy, blowing kisses at his daughter and making screwy faces in lieu of acting. And Hyphen is just plain obnoxious as the brilliant, cardboardly perfect kid.

She actually says at one point, with one of her endless cutesy expressions, "I am a good girl." Eww.

I don't know, there's a pig in there somewhere, for reasons that escaped me. Oh, there's the usual supply of awkward farce and pratfalls.

About the closest thing to entertaining is the occasional appearance of Donny Osmond as a super-caffeinated, hug-crazy superparents ferrying his always-singing daughter on their own pre-college tour.

Halfway through the trip, Lawrence's character throws a hissy fit about the fact that his kid wants to get away from him. "I don't even know you any more," he says.

Somehow, the answer to this is a karayoke music video with a busload of Japanese tourists. Again, I think my mind was wandering and I missed whatever explanation there was for this.

I'm not sure who this movie is for - teens will find it excruciatingly boring, little kids aren't going to want a movie about college-agers, and parents will just sit there wishing for a lobotomy and their old Betamax video of "Animal House."

It has to be possible to make a smart comedy, doesn't it? Huh?

* "College Road Trip," rated G, 83 minutes. Our score: One star out of five.