At the beginning, or end of the century/millennium depending on how you look at it, there were a number of things that came into being; some of them good, and some of them bad. One thing that became a huge hit in this time period was Tom Green, and I honestly just didn’t get it. I may be in the minority on this, but I honestly never really found Tom Green to be that funny. That being said, I will admit that there have been a few times that he has been funny, mostly in one or two scenes in a movie. Today’s movie happens to have one of those scenes in it so let’s go ahead and get started with Road Trip.
The plot: At the University of Ithaca, a student named Barry is giving a tour to some prospective students and their families, but the group mocks him for not knowing anything or having been anywhere outside of the school. When one of the prospects asks him if anything cool ever happens, Barry proceeds to start telling them the story of Josh and Tiffany, two childhood sweethearts who were in a long distance relationship as Josh was enrolled at the University of Ithaca while Tiffany was in school in Austin, Tx. They promised to stay true to each other and call every day but Josh begins having dreams of Tiffany cheating on him when he hasn’t been able to get in touch with her for a few days. As Josh is filming a tape to send to Tiffany, his roommate Rubin and Barry walk in and when Josh realizes he is late to class, he asks Rubin to mail the tape to Tiffany when it is done rewinding. Josh races across campus to class but is stopped by Beth, who talks to him for a bit before asking if he is going to a party that night. As they are talking, they are being observed by Jacob, who is interested in Beth and jealous of Josh. After the class, Jacob confronts Josh and tells him to stay away from Beth, before the professor approaches and says that Josh needs a B+ on his midterm to pass his class. Josh is talking with E.L. about the situation and E.L. says that he is screwed so he might as well come to his party and have fun and try to hook up with Beth. Josh says he doesn’t plan on cheating on Tiffany but when he tries calling Tiffany, her roommate says that she hasn’t slept there in days and if she wanted to talk to him, she would. Heartbroken, Josh goes to E.L.’s party and Beth asks him to outbid Jacob during E.L.’s auction. Josh is unable to outbid Jacob but E.L. chooses not to acknowledge Jacob’s last bid and declares Josh the winner. Josh and Beth dance for a while before heading back to Josh’s dorm room. Seeing a card from Tiffany, Beth asks Josh about her and Josh says that it was someone he used to date and the two begin kissing before Beth decides to use Josh’s camera to film them having sex. The next day, E.L., Rubin, and Barry are in Josh’s room when Josh comes in acting happy and tells them that he had sex with Beth. They don’t believe him but when Josh indicates that they filmed it, E.L. quickly grabs the tape and, after Josh tries to stop him, puts it in the VCR. When they see the tape that Josh made for Tiffany, Josh realizes that he sent the sex tape to Beth, just as Beth calls and says that her grandfather had died and she had been staying at her mom’s house. Realizing that he has three days to get to Austin and get the tape before Tiffany sees it, Josh decides to head out for the weekend. E.L. and Rubin decide to go with him and they go see Kyle, a sheltered student that has his own car and convince him to let them use his car for their trip, bringing him along to help him break out of his shell. Meanwhile, Barry is in Josh and Rubin’s room, eagerly anticipating Rubin’s snake the next day when Beth comes in looking for Josh. Barry says he went to see his girlfriend in Austin, MA and when Beth asks if he meant Boston, Barry says yes. Beth complains about what happened to some of her friends, thinking Josh just used her for sex, and they suggest she head up to Boston and tell Josh’s girlfriend about them. Meanwhile, the guys buy some supplies using Kyle’s credit card and make their way towards Austin via back roads but when they come to a broken down bridge, they decide to jump it and end up wrecking the car, which explodes as they walk away. They manage to walk to a motel and get a room for the night but the next morning, the front desk clerk informs Rubin that the credit card the used was over the limit. Meanwhile, Kyle’s parents, Earl and Cookie, are eating breakfast when they learn that their credit card, which is a joint card with Kyle’s, is maxed out when the police chief shows up and tells them that Kyle’s car was found blown up and that Kyle isn’t in school. While Rubin takes Josh and Kyle to get some breakfast, E.L. goes to get them some transportation and ends up stealing a bus from a school for the blind. Meanwhile, Beth arrives at the University of Boston and goes to see Tiffany Henderson, telling Tiffany that her boyfriend cheated on her with her. Tiffany flips out and begins smashing her boyfriend’s car with a bat before attacking her boyfriend and Beth realizes that it was the wrong Tiffany. As she catches the bus back to Ithaca, one of the passengers tries to suck her toes and she complains about there not being any normal guys. Back on the road, E.L. complains about them not really making this an enjoyable road trip and Josh calls his professor to try and get an extension for his mid-term but Jacob was the one to answer the phone and, disguising his voice, tells Josh that he will extend it a few days. Thinking they have extra time, the group stop at a fraternity house, with Rubin saying he knows the secret handshake but when they get inside, they realize it is an African American fraternity. The frat brothers pull a prank on the guys, saying they found a white hood in Kyle’s duffel bag and he ends up passing out but when he comes too, they tell him it was just a joke. The fraternity throws a party and Kyle ends up getting drunk and ends up having sex with one of the girls there, which he brags about to the guys the next day. When Rubin points out that they are running low on money, they head to a sperm bank and Rubin and Kyle are ineligible due to smoking marijuana and having sex respectively so E.L. and Josh end up donating sperm, with E.L. getting the nurse to help him by giving him a prostate massage. Beth returns to Ithaca and yells at Barry for sending her to the wrong place but Barry says that he told her Josh went to Austin because he likes her. Jacob shows up and tells Beth that because of him, Josh will be expelled but before Beth can respond, Rubin’s python Mitch bites Barry’s hand, as he was holding a mouse, and When Barry thrashes around to get it off of him, the snake ends up biting Jacob in the throat. Elsewhere, Kyle’s parents show up at the motel and after Earl threatens the desk clerk, he hands them the boys’ bill and they see that they had called Austin, Tx so they head over there. Meanwhile, the boys end up crashing at Barry’s grandparent’s house and laugh when they realize that Barry’s last name is Manilow. During the night, Rubin talks to Barry’s grandfather about how his near death experience has messed him up while Josh has a nightmare that Tiffany has already seen the tape. The next morning, they boys arrive at the University of Austin and head to Tiffany’s dorm to try and get the tape but the mail room attendant prevents them from doing so. E.L. and Rubin pull him off of Josh, allowing him to grab the tape but campus security, Kyle’s parents, and Tiffany all show up. As confusion breaks out, with Kyle standing up for himself against his father, Josh manages to grab Tiffany and they head to her room. Tiffany is surprised that Josh is there and mentions how she had been thinking that since they were in college, they should be trying to see other people when the phone rings and Tiffany answers it to find Beth on the other end. Tiffany hands the phone to Josh and Josh tells her that he is glad she called because he wanted to talk to her but couldn’t do it right there. Beth tells him what Jacob did and Josh realizes that he is screwed and quickly hangs up. Meanwhile, Tiffany had grabbed the tape and put it in but Josh realizes that Barry had taped over the part where he and Beth had sex. Later, Josh and Tiffany officially break up and the gang head back to Ithaca, with Rubin helping Josh learn a way to retain the knowledge he needs for his mid-term. When they get back to the university, Josh rushes to his class only to learn that a bomb threat had been called in so the class was delayed. After finally taking his final, Josh is leaving the class when Beth approaches him and admits that she called in the bomb threat when it looked like he wouldn’t make it back in time and Josh thanks her as the two embrace and kiss. Back in the present, Barry was so wrapped up in the story that he ends up kissing the mom of one of the prospects. Apologizing, Barry tells the tour group what happened to everyone. Josh and Beth continued dating and ended up making several more tapes of their exploits. Rubin would end up making a potent marijuana that was completely undetectable via testing. E.L., who got hooked on the prostate massage from the sperm bank, ended up dating a pre med student so she could give him one. Kyle ends up dating the girl he slept with at the fraternity and brings her with him when he goes to reconcile with his dad. Jacob ended up dropping out of school and forming a cult but when he tried to lead them in a mass suicide, he drank the kool-aid first and the rest of his cult left his body on the ground. Barry finishes his story, as well as the tour, and everyone thanks him and when the mother goes to thank Barry, they end up kissing again, with mother’s son calling out in shock at his mom.
Road Trip met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 57% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Some humor is hit or miss, depending on the audience tastes, but the movie is funny overall. Mixed reviews for the cast, especially for MTV’s Tom Green.” While the fictional University of Ithaca is based on Ithaca College and Cornell University in New York, the actual filming took place in Georgia, at Woodward Academy, Georgia Tech, Emory University, and the University of Georgia, while the aerial shot at the beginning of the movie is of Harvard. Even though it debuted at #3, Road Trip was a box office hit, earning $119.8 million off of a $16 million budget.
There have been dozens of college comedies to come out over the years and this one kind of ends up in the middle. The acting was good, with Breckin Meyer (Josh), Amy Smart (Beth) and DJ Qualls (Kyle) doing good jobs in their roles. Tom Green (Barry) didn’t really bother me that much because he wasn’t a central character but talk about some typecasting when it comes to Seann William Scott (E.L.), as he basically just played Stifler from American Pie all over again. The story was ok but not very original. In fact, the basic premise of the movie was very similar to Overnight Delivery, which had come out 2 years earlier. The comedy was a mixture of slapstick and adult/dirty humor, which did mix pretty well to provide laughs, but you definitely need to not be easily offended to really enjoy some of them. In all honesty, aside from one or two scenes, this is just another college comedy that will be lost among the masses as time goes on.
Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5