On the Road to Nowhere
First thing to know "College Road Trip" may sound like a title for some sort of teen sex comedy it most certainly isn't. Second thing to know, whilst the storyline may be about an over protective father having to deal with his daughter heading off to college the humour is aimed at a much younger audience, we are talking 11 to 13 year old humour. And with those two things in mind "College Road Trip" is still not a good movie, not as terrible as some people make it out to be but a movie which fails more than it succeeds.
Ever since she was born James (Martin Lawrence - Wild Hogs) has been planning for the day his daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné) would leave home, not when she got married but when she left for college and for all those years he has pushed that she goes to North-western, just 40 miles from home. But when Melanie gets an invite to an interview at Georgetown, 700 miles away James is not happy and decides to head with her on a college road trip to Georgetown to try and persuade her not to go, and to make sure his little girl doesn't get up to anything he wouldn't like.
Now you know how in "Father of the Bride" Steve Martin suddenly had to deal with his little girl being a woman and getting married well "College Road Trip" is basically the same thing but instead of marriage we are talking little girl leaving home to go to college. As such there are two very predictable things which make up the movie, embarrassing and over protective father enforcing himself on daughter on a road trip to her dream college and whilst they have issues they eventually bond. It is predictable but remembering who this movie is aimed at it sort of is enough, well enough to be the vehicle for plenty of humour.
Now as for that humour well any movie which features a pig clever enough to do a Rubik's cube is oinking up the wrong tree, it's just stupid. And sadly much of the humour through out is just as stupid as James still thinks of Melanie as his little girl whilst she tries to pull one over on him. Throw in a supporting performance from Donny Osmond as an over happy father who shares excruciating sing-a-longs with his daughter and we are talking some painful humour much of which feels little more that set piece gags. But then I reckon maybe an 11 year old will find the excruciating sing-a-longs which includes Melanie breaking out into song aboard a tour bus fun.
What in many ways is a shame is there is a great gag which is never used and that is the fact that for many Raven-Symoné who plays Melanie will be remembered as Olivia in "The Cosby Show". So much more could have been done with James still seeing her as a little girl but it is an underused gag. Talking of under used well a toned down, family friendly Martin Lawrence is not that funny, in fact he ends up coming across like he is mimicking Eddie Murphy in his family friendly movies. It just doesn't work and nor to be honest does Donny Osmond as the permanently chipper Doug although he does give us the movies funniest moment right at the end.
What this all boils down to is that with my adult head on "College Road Trip" is not good, its not terrible either but incredibly weak and often painful rather than funny. But seeing this is a movie made for young audiences and by that I reckon 11 and 12 year olds are the perfect age, it should be sort of fun for them with the obvious humour and set piece gags not being an issue.