Case Number 23813: Small Claims Court

ROAD TRIP (BLU-RAY)

Paramount // 2000 // 94 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Tom Becker // May 12th, 2012

The Charge

Love is never having to say you're sorry you made a sex tape with a woman then mailed it to your girlfriend.

The Case

Watching Road Trip is such a retro experience, it might as well come with a Whitman's Sampler and green stamps. It's not just that the world has progressed so much in the past 12 years that, as far as raunchy sex-coms go, the film seems as dated as an early talkie. Everything about Road Trip seems to come from some sort of desperation for another time, a mysterious era that married hoary plot contrivances to mid-level smut.

The story-driver is right out of an episode of The Honeymooners -- the old "We sent the wrong letter, let's get it back!" In Road Trip, college-boy Josh (Breckin Meyer, 54) thinks his long-distance girlfriend is cheating, so he makes a sex tape with fetching co-ed Beth (Amy Smart, Mirrors). The sex tape gets mixed up with a goopy "I love you" video Josh made and is sent to the girl by mistake. What to do? Get some goofy friends together and drive 2000 miles to beat the post office and intercept the tape before it's delivered. Naturally, along the way, all sorts of riotously insignificant things happen and everyone learns a life lesson. The End.

For a "raunchy" sex comedy, there's surprisingly little sex here. Like most college boys -- well, most "boys" of any age, really -- these guys talk about sex far more than they engage in it. I really thought there'd be a lot more T'n'A, but virtually all the nudity is confined to the first 20 minutes. After that, it's all boys on the road, coming of age. It's the sort of thing Roger Corman's New Line company turned out for drive-in audiences during the '70s, only with less ambition -- and less nudity.

You can actually see the film straining to be outrageous. In one segment, the boys fool their way into a frat house so they can stay the night -- only, it's an African American frat! Ho, ho! Once that joke subsides, everyone gets down and has a good time.

But then, the requisite virginal dorky guy (DJ Qualls, Circle of Eight) meets a beautiful girl (the late Mia Amber Davis). She thinks he's cute, and thus the dork loses his virginity. But is this supposed to be a sweet moment? A funny moment? Or a gross moment -- you see, the beautiful, black woman is also a big woman, and her cellulite-heavy thighs are front and center here. But she's beautiful, and accommodating! But she's overweight! But she's...I don't know, it's just kind of typical of the strange discord that seems to permeate this film.

What's remarkable about Road Trip is how dated it is; it's almost a time capsule of technological progress in the 21st Century. In Road Trip, people send videos through the mail; they play Myst; no one has a cell phone; however, they do still shop at Target.

In fairness, I did laugh at Road Trip, a few times. It's goofy, silly stuff, but it pretty much works within the expectations of the genre. Andy Dick, of all people, is very funny in a small role as a motel clerk, and if the comic stylings of Tom Green are to your liking, then there's plenty to like here, with Green's turn as long-past-sell-date student and benign freak named Barry Manilow. And just to remind you that all such roads lead back to American Pie, there's Seann William Scott as one of the travelers, doing the Stifler shtick that he does so well, and so often.

Road Trip (Blu-ray) comes with a pretty good looking transfer and a solid DTS surround audio track. The disc offers both the Theatrical version and the minute-and-change longer Unrated cut. The supplements are all ports from the 2000 DVD, and they're pretty lame: a brief "making of," some deleted scenes, a music video, and a bunch of trailers. Road Trip (Blu-ray) is a Best Buy exclusive, so don't go looking for it on Amazon -- at least, not yet.

The Verdict

Road Trip is an innocuous, by-the-book, semi-raunchy guy comedy that barely makes an impression. The Blu-ray, with its reasonable tech and ported supplements, follows suit.

Not memorable enough to be guilty or innocent, so case dismissed.

Review content copyright © 2012 Tom Becker; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 65

Perp Profile
Studio: Paramount
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Portuguese)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Spanish)

Subtitles:
* English
* English (SDH)
* French
* Portuguese
* Spanish

Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2000
MPAA Rating: Unrated

Distinguishing Marks
* Deleted Scenes
* Featurette
* Music Video
* Trailers

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0215129/combined