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College Road Trip: Not Many People Will Be Raven About It

I should start by saying I understand that what I think is funny is probably different than what a ten-year-old kid thinks is funny. However, I'm going to base this review on the fact that parents have to go to these things, too. For an adult, College Road Trip, starring Raven Symone and comedian Martin Lawrence, is an exhausting experience. But when I noticed the little girl in the seat next to me could hardly contain her laughter, I realized I was watching the movie equivalent of a drum set: the kids love it, but heaven help the parents who have to listen to that racket.

Directed by Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions), the movie has a simple premise: a bright high school senior named Melanie Porter (Simone) wants to go to Georgetown University. Her overprotective police chief father would rather she attend Northwestern as it is located close to their suburban Chicago home. When Melanie gets her chance to interview at Georgetown, her father volunteers to drive her there with the hope of persuading her against that school through all kinds of wacky, strange plotting. It's not the simple minded storyline, nor the one-dimensional characters that makes this movie so perplexing, but what everyone involved with this film considers funny.

For more about why I think you should approach this movie with caution,


I kept hoping the tender father-daughter bonding moments that break up the movie's incomprehensible zany sequences would last longer because that's where both leads shine. While the material was weak during those moments, I could see glimpses of what might have been: a sweet, funny little movie about leaving the nest. Mostly though, it's just a lot of the slapstick comedy routines and timing that belongs on a half-hour TV sitcom.

Simone in particular knee-jerked into overacting mode straight out of the Scooby-Doo school of drama: "scared" is portrayed with huge bulging eyes and exaggerated trembles, "happy" is a painfully wide grin and high-pitch screaming. It's a shame because she shows many signs that she's better than this, and hopefully she'll learn how to reel it in — just a tad — over time.

Also, there's Donny Osmond. In a real acting stretch for him, he plays a gratingly peppy guy who's eyeballs are perpetually bulging out of his face, too. They all must have shared the same acting coach. Like I said, the kids, they'll laugh at almost anything, but just like parents get to hold a grudge against the aunt that bought the drum set, I think we can be a little peeved at Disney for this one.

Photos courtesy of Walt Disney

Join The Conversation
pargie pargie 9 years
Exactly. It's for the kids. If I had children I would take them to see it. And if It came on a Saturday Disney Film I would certainly sit on the sofa and watch it. I think Raven is an inspiration, and I'll admit that I sometimes watch That's So Raven on Saturday's silly. I wouldn't expect anything more.
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
Umm hello people this is obviously not a movie aimed at adults. I think that Raven and Disney stars in general are going for the easy laughs. Doesn't anybody remember Saturday morning with a bowl of cereal and cartoons and shows just like these? I would think anybody with kids would be happy to have something like this to take their children to. It's a lot less offensive than most other offerings and it's something your kids will enjoy. Sometimes it's not about you
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
we took our 7 and 9 year old girls to the movie on saturday and it was a good family outing. no swearing, no sex, no rude children with smart mouths, i had no issues with the movie at all and that's the first time i've said that about a movie for as long as i can remember. it was for the kids, not us, and the fact that they enjoyed it made us enjoy it too. the acting is 1,000 better than what is on tv for most kids (hello, "the suite life of zach and cody" and "hannah montana" are so over acted it's painful).
bluecanary bluecanary 9 years
My 10 yr old dtr wanted to see this over the weekend, I just couldn't do it. Told her it will be on DVD soon enough. Besides, I hear Raven screaming (and OMG - I think she gets paid by the scream) enough for free via the disney chanel.
tsteffensen tsteffensen 9 years
My 10 year old and 14 year old nephews loved it too. But I would rather watch paint dry.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
my niece, who is 10, saw it and she loved it.
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
I'm not suprised!
i-am-awesomeness i-am-awesomeness 9 years
I was subjected to watching the trailer for this movie during Juno, I believe it was. Yes, subjected... it was long and dull and completely crazy and just plain dumb. The kids that will enjoy this movie are years from college and therefore the meaning will be lost on them.
LaurenG22 LaurenG22 9 years
I agree with Miss Britt- I love that she is portrayed as a smart black woman. I hate Martin Lawrence though, he needs to take a tranquilizer.
kaenai kaenai 9 years
I think that was the entire point of the movie. It wasn't meant to be Oscar-worthy or anything, just a fun little romp for a few hours that you can get some laughs in and your kids can come and laugh with you. It kills me how sometimes people seem to think every movie has to be some glorious production in which every actor in it shows off his brilliance. This movie is meant to be 'family friendly', not 'film-critic friendly'. The only reason I'd consider this flick is to see Raven-Symone. I would expect the things you describe from Raven, because I've watched "That's So Raven" with my daughter, in which she does many of the things mentioned above. Having said that, I don't like Martin Lawrence. He's not funny to me. I didn't laugh at anything he said in "Do The Right Thing" (which wasn't much, thank heaven), or in anything he's done since then (except "Nothing To Lose").
spazzydana spazzydana 9 years
Everyone knew this movie was going to be horrible. I kept watching the previews thinking 'who would even want to act in a movie like this, let alone see it'. Especially when i saw that there was a pig involved. ugh Disney does it again.
miss-britt miss-britt 9 years
i'm just glad it shows young black people in a positive light. other than that i probably just rent it.
angelinemarie angelinemarie 9 years
i knew it was gonna be a dud.
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