Road Trip

on May 19, 2000 by Mike Kerrigan
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   Road Trip--two of the most famous words in movies, a defiant cry that started a lunatic chain of events in the classic "Animal House." Now "Road Trip" has been retooled for the 21st century and is a worthy successor to the exploits of Bluto, Otter and the rest of the Delts. It's very funny, it's rambunctious and it's unabashedly sexy. It even has a plot. The reason for the road trip is to retrieve a self-recorded video, showing Josh (Breckin Meyer) in a compromising position with his new pal Beth (the gorgeous Amy Smart), mailed in error to Josh's long-time girlfriend. Actually, the tape shows many compromising--not to mention athletic--positions. Josh and two other students persuade a nerd with wheels (DJ Qualls) to join their quest from Ithica, New York, to Austin, Texas. Naturally, all does not go well en route. The car is soon destroyed but replaced by a bus from a blind school. There's a total gross-out at a coffee shop and a wonderful cameo by Andy Dick as a motel clerk.

   But it's not just the trip that provides the laughs. The film is sort of narrated by the hilarious Tom Green of MTV fame as he shows a group around the campus of the University of Ithica while meandering from his duties to tell the tale of "Road Trip." When one of his tour takes issue with a plot point, complaining that in the real world women don't walk around their communal bathrooms naked, Green, who has described the scene in loving detail, tells his critic to shut up. "This is my story," he says.

   And the scene involving Green, a mouse, a python and a nasty teaching assistant is destined to become a classic. With the right scripts and direction, Green could easily become the next Jim Carrey.

   There is a direct lineage between "Animal House" and "Road Trip." "House" producer Ivan Reitman saw "Road Trip" helmer/writer Todd Phillips' documentary "Frat House" at Sundance and put the "Road Trip" wheels in motion, which included him executive producing. The car keys have been confidently passed to a new generation. Starring Breckin Meyer, Sean William Scott and Amy Smart. Directed by Todd Phillips. Written by Todd Phillips & Scot Armstrong. Produced by Daniel Goldberg and Joe Medjuck. A DreamWorks release. Comedy. Rated R for strong sexual content, crude humor, language and drug use. Running time: 94 min

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