Thursday, March 20, 2008

College Road Trip

Okay, I didn't care for this movie, but of course it's not targeted at me. This is a veritable who's who of Disney channel stars. Raven Symone of "That's so Raven", Margo Harshman of "Even Stevens", Brenda Song of "The Suite Life of Zach and Cody", Lucas Garbeel of "High School Musical", and Martin Lawrence of, well, every rule has an exception. He does manage to transition well from his profane roots to the family genre, though.

There is one thing about this movie (and Raven in general) that I really do appreciate. Unlike other movies targeted at children (Bratz being one of the big ones), this movie stays clear of any sort of sexual content. Rare among high-school based movies are ones like this, focusing on the relationship between a daughter and father. Also, you can make a movie funny for children, without gross-out humor. Take example from this, all you children's movie directors out there. Keep it endearing, and about the relationships, and kids will still like it (at least the ones when I saw it. They loved it).

The movie is about Melanie Porter (Symone) and her father, James (Lawrence). She is preparing to apply to colleges, and her main choices take her far away from home. James, being the chief of police is a tad over-protective, and wants her to stay as close as possible. This results in the two of them going off on the titular road trip together. Stowing along is Melanie's brainy little brother Trey (Eshaya Draper) and their pet pig. Yeah, I don't really get it either.

Along the way they meet another family (Donnie Osmond, Molly Ephraim), in all their car-game playing, show-tune singing glory. There have been criticisms that this is racist, portraying white people as annoyingly over-excited people, but I think these accusations are just absurd. They were just there to provide some comedy (though they really weren't all that funny), not to signify some sort of racial tension.

Despite this movie being very good natured, there wasn't much funny about it. If you take your kids, you'll probably be bored stiff. The pig, the karaoke on the bus, the sky diving- all of it kind of falls flat. The only part I laughed at was when James made them stop by a closer university, and paid off some people to talk it up, while talking down where she wanted to go. This led to a few funny situations. Unfortunately, even though it works well for its target audience, it doesn't work for much else.


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