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'Road Trip'

Bad 'Trip' On the 'Road' to stupidity

Friday, May 19, 2000

By Ron Weiskind, Post-Gazette Movie Editor

"Road Trip" turns out to be pretty much what you'd expect -- dumb sex jokes, dumb pot jokes, dumb grossout jokes, just plain dumb.

'Road Trip'

RATING: R for nudity, language, sexual situations

STARRING: Breckin Meyer, Amy Smart, Tom Green

DIRECTOR: Todd Phillips

WEB SITE: www.roadtrip-

CRITIC'S CALL: 1 1/2 stars


But how could it surprise us? Most of the allegedly humorous moments show up in the film's trailer. There's Tom Green with a live mouse in his mouth, a waiter serving french toast that he's wiped across the most disgusting parts of his body, the nerdy guy displaying the enormous panties worn by his first sexual conquest, the obnoxious guy making a donation at the sperm bank.

Oh, there are a few yucks (define it as you wish) saved for the end of the movie. But, particularly at the beginning, there's an awful lot of filler between setups. The only gags (you can define that one as you wish, too) that build any sort of momentum are those involving Green, who isn't really involved with the main storyline. He serves as a kind of narrator and resident oddball, to whom the movie returns as a kind of break between scenes.

The plot, such as it is, revolves around Josh (Breckin Meyer), a student at Ithaca College whose lifelong girlfriend, Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard), attends the University of Texas. Mistakenly thinking that she's dumped him, Josh spends the night with classmate Beth (Amy Smart), who talks him into taping their lovemaking. One of his roommates unwittingly mails the tape to Tiffany. So Josh and three of his pals -- obnoxious E.L. (Seann William Scott), nerdy Kyle (DJ Qualls) and brainy pothead Rubin (Paulo Costanzo) -- hit the road, driving to Austin in hopes of intercepting the incriminating video.

The journey serves mostly as an excuse for the jokes, although screenwriters Todd Phillips (who also directed) and Scot Armstrong do create a character arc for Kyle, allowing him to grow up and be a man, literally and figuratively. The other guys, of course, are considered to be already there because they've had sex with beautiful women, smoke weed and manage not to embarrass themselves in public. What, you mean there's life beyond college? Such a thing as commitment to anything beyond your own immediate pleasure? Bummer, dude.

Well, there is Green, who has made a career of not growing up. Someone really should have given him more attention as a child. At least he doesn't pretend to be anyone remotely real.

By the way, Phillips shows up in the movie as the guy on the bus who tries to lick Beth's toes. So that's how you get to direct a teen movie.

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