If you don't already hate the film "American Pie," "Road Trip" should give you at least one perfectly good reason to do so.
This lame comedy is a complete rip-off of last year's surprise hit, as well as the slew of late '70s and early '80s sex comedies that inspired "American Pie," in particular, "National Lampoon's Animal House."
But "Road Trip" doesn't even come close to being as clever as "Animal House" (or any of its awful knock-offs, for that matter). It's insultingly stupid and downright offensive and what's worse, it's just not funny.
Of course, it's not like the creaky premise is rife with comic possibilities: College freshman Josh (Breckin Meyer) and his buddies hit the road to prevent an incriminating package from falling into the hands of longtime girlfriend, Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard).
To be more specific, the package contains a videotape of Josh caught in a compromising position with flirtatious fellow student Beth (Amy Smart, from the television miniseries "The '70s"), which was mailed accidentally by his clueless pal Barry (Tom Green).
Unfortunately, Josh only has three days to get from Ithaca, N.Y., to Austin, Texas, and he has no car. So he and his crass best friend E.L. (Seann William Scott, from "American Pie") persuade Kyle (DJ Qualls) to lend them his auto and the nerdy freshman decides to join them.
So does Josh's brainy roommate Rubin (Paulo Costanzo), and they'll need his help if not much more than that if they're going to get past all the auto troubles, cash-flow shortages and other woes that plague them along the way.
As you can probably tell, there's not a whole lot of plot here, just excuses for inane gags, sexual crudity and general clowning around by alleged comedian Green, who also serves as the film's narrator.
On the whole, it's an inauspicious feature filmmaking debut for writer/director Todd Phillips, whose documentary "Frat House" was first embraced at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival and then wound up becoming a disgrace after its factual interviews turned out to be fictional.
His inability to set up a joke properly really hurts the film, but so does the flimsy material and the fact that he has a cast that looks way too old to be in college.
Frankly, it's hard to care about what happens to Meyers' bland but smug character, while Scott is so irritating that you can't help but wish for an automotive mishap to wipe out his character."Road Trip" is rated R for crude sexual gags and other vulgar attempts at humor, simulated sexual acts, prevalent female nudity, violence (a fistfight, played for laughs), simulated drug use (marijuana) and scattered use of strong profanities. Running time: 91 minutes.
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