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"COLLEGE ROAD TRIP"
(2008) (Martin Lawrence, Raven-Symoné) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Minor Moderate *Minor Moderate
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Moderate None None None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None Moderate Moderate Mild


QUICK TAKE:
Comedy: Much to her chagrin, a teen's police chief father abruptly decides to accompany her on her tour of prospective colleges, leading to a comically disastrous road trip for all involved.
PLOT:
For Chicago area police chief James Porter (MARTIN LAWRENCE), his adult life has revolved around protecting people, particularly his daughter. Accordingly, he's always planned on 17-year-old Melanie (RAVEN-SYMONÉ) attending a nearby college so that she can be close by for him, his wife, Michelle (KYM E. WHITLEY), and their other child, 10-year-old brainiac Trey (ESHAYA DRAPER) who has an equally smart, chess-playing pig.

James is thus shocked and disappointed when he learns that his little girl has applied to Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and is planning to drive there for a tour and interview with her best friends, Nancy (BRENDA SONG) and Katie (MARGO HARSHMAN). Feeling the need to protect Melanie, James decides instead to be the one to drive her, much to her dismay.

As they make their way across the country, they must contend with various comedic complications. That includes meeting and having to travel with overzealous dad Doug Greenhut (DONNY OSMOND) and his equally enthusiastic daughter, Wendy (MOLLY EPHRAIM), all as James must learn to trust Melanie's judgment and thus let her leave the nest and grow up.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
It's a good bet many younger ones just might.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
Presumably for not containing material to warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • MARTIN LAWRENCE plays an overprotective dad and police chief who's reluctant to allow his 17-year-old daughter to grow up and head off to college on her own. Accordingly, he invites himself along on her road trip to her college interview, and constantly embarrasses her with his behavior (some of which is exaggerated for comedic effect on the part of the film).
  • RAVEN-SYMONÉ plays his 17-year-old daughter who's excited to go on a road trip with her friends exploring potential colleges, only to find that her dad has invited himself along, much to her perpetual embarrassment. She doesn't tell her dad various things (such as applying to Georgetown) for fear of him overreacting.
  • DONNY OSMOND plays an overzealous and enthusiastic dad who's traveling with his equally overly-affected daughter (played by MOLLY EPHRAIM) who befriends James and gives him and his kids a ride.
  • ESHAYA DRAPER plays Melanie's younger brainiac brother who, while his dad is preoccupied with his big sister's college plans, decides his pet pig should work for the government and thus stows away in his dad's police vehicle on their trip to Washington, DC.
  • KYM E. WHITLEY plays James' wife who must put up with his overprotective mindset and behavior regarding their daughter.
  • BRENDA SONG and MARGO HARSHMAN play Melanie's best friends who party with her and want her to accompany them on their college tour road trip.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this G-rated comedy. No profanity is present, but various colorful phrases are, as is other behavior (including exaggerated mannerisms) that some kids might be enticed to imitate. A father misinterprets a comment and later a situation as potentially sexual in nature, but both are benign and will go over most younger kids' heads.

    Slapstick style material (chaos-based knocking around of people and things) and comedy-based violence (people being tazered, brief sparring, etc.) are present, as are some bad attitudes as well as tense family material (both played lightly). A few benign scenes might briefly be unsettling for the very youngest of viewers, while a little bit of crude humor occurs, champagne is present at a wedding reception, and a police chief fires various weapons in a firing range to work out his frustrations.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light on the screen, there are brief, full-strobe effects at a party.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • When James finds that Melanie is going to make herself coffee, he says that caffeine is a drug and that she doesn't take drugs.
  • People hold champagne at a wedding.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear a toilet flush and then see Trey's pig run out with toilet paper stuck on its foot.
  • A miscellaneous groom is seen with his finger up his nose.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Melanie lies to her parents about going to the library with her friends, when she's really going to a party with them.
  • Melanie realizes that her dad set up various young people at a local college to make it look good, and Georgetown look bad and dangerous (played for comedy).
  • James learns that his son and the boy's pet pig stowed away in the police SUV for the road trip.
  • Melanie makes a slit throat gesture to her younger brother for stowing away on their college road trip.
  • James and his kids pretend that the pet pig is a human baby to get around a hotel's no pets rule.
  • Some viewers might take offense to an overweight and not particularly attractive new bride eating food that's spilled onto her wedding dress.
  • James is surprised and disappointed that Melanie didn't tell him about applying to Georgetown and that part of her program there could take her to Japan for a semester.
  • Some viewers might be offended by a tour bus of Japanese tourists exaggeratedly signing and dancing along to the song "Double Dutch Bus" with Melanie.
  • James doesn't trust his 17-year-old daughter to make smart choices on her own.
  • Upset that James ruined both his daughter's wedding reception and then a huge bet riding on a golf putt, a man comes after James, telling him, ""I'm gonna kill you and your little pig" (played for comedy).
  • Shocked that his daughter is engaged, Doug races toward and tackles that young man to the floor (played for comedy).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following may be unsettling for the youngest of viewers, but probably few if any others:
  • James falls out of bed when he hears Melanie screaming. He then runs/jumps down the stairs to find out what's happening, but the screaming is due to Melanie getting an admissions interview at Georgetown.
  • James watches a nature show on TV showing a cheetah chasing down a young gazelle, with the commentator telling the viewers to watch as the cheetah rips off the little gazelle's head (not seen and played for laughs, but it might be a disturbing comment for younger viewers who won't get the joke).
  • James briefly dangles from a window ledge when his ladder collapses below him (played for comedy).
  • For those afraid of heights, there's a brief view looking down from a skydiving plane, and then a sequence where James and Melanie tandem jump from a plane and then plummet toward the ground before he pulls the chute.
  • Upset that James ruined both his daughter's wedding reception and then a huge bet riding on a golf putt, a man comes after James, telling him, ""I'm gonna kill you and your little pig" (played for comedy).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • We see James firing various handguns and then a shotgun in the police firing range (played for comedy as he's taking out his frustrations on the paper target).
  • Believing Melanie's sarcastic lie about a student taking her to a frat party, James uses a tazer to zap that student to the ground.
  • James ends up forced to sleep under a bed in a sorority house (where Melanie is spending the night). The next morning, he's caught there, and the sorority housemother uses a tazer to shock him.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "A huff and a puff is not enough," "You knocked it out of the park," "Houdini pig," "Rigid," "Unbelievable," "Got a question, Tinkerbell?" "Over-protective control freak," "Oh, it's on," "Sip on that," "We were like, whatever," "I know!" "Shiver me timbers," "Mad as a hatter," "The control freak," "I'm gonna kill you and your little pig" and "How crazy is that?"
  • The mugging, exaggerated mannerisms, and other such behavior (including singing various songs) might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • A first-time father-to-be is so uptight that he accidentally crushes the glass in his hand.
  • Melanie does some exaggerated and rapid, herky-jerky dance movements to pretend display what she was doing at a frat party (that she didn't go to).
  • James learns that his son and the boy's pet pig stowed away in the police SUV for the road trip.
  • Melanie makes a slit throat gesture to her younger brother for stowing away on their college road trip.
  • James and his kids pretend that the pet pig is a human baby to get around a hotel's no pets rule.
  • Trey's pig consumes coffee beans and thus becomes hyperactive (some kids may want to get the same effect by feeding the family pet the same).
  • Doug and his daughter do an exaggerated version of the "So Long, Farewell" song from "The Sound of Music."
  • Melanie and some friends repeatedly jump up and down on a bed.
  • Some kids may want to imitate a shadow silhouette scene where Melanie and some friends are dancing about to a song, but when viewed from outside the window looks like one is stabbing Melanie and another is strangling her with a rope (played for laughs as James freaks out upon seeing that).
  • James and another man briefly spar with golf clubs.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Melanie accidentally falls over a student. When he offers to give her a personal tour (of the college), James suspiciously asks, "A personal tour of what?"
  • Melanie shows some cleavage.
  • James calls a sorority house to talk to Melanie who's staying there overnight. A deep-voiced woman answer and James thinks it's a guy saying that "he" thinks Melanie is in the shower.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • A miscellaneous bride punches her new husband when he calls out "pig" (upon seeing Trey's pet), and she thinks he's talking about her.
  • James is surprised and disappointed that Melanie didn't tell him about applying to Georgetown and that part of her program there could take her to Japan for a semester. She's embarrassed by him, isn't happy when he invites himself along on her college road trip with her friends, and is disappointed that he doesn't trust her to make the right decisions in her life.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Kids growing up and parents needing to let them do so (to some degree).
  • Going off to college.
  • Over-protective parents.
  • When James finds that Melanie is going to make herself coffee, he says that caffeine is a drug and that she doesn't take drugs.
  • VIOLENCE
  • All of the following is played for comedy.
  • A first-time father-to-be is so uptight that he accidentally crushes the glass in his hand.
  • Believing Melanie's sarcastic lie about a student taking her to a frat party, James uses a tazer to zap that student to the ground.
  • James doesn't pay attention as his automatic jack goes too far with his police SUV, thus causing it to tip over and roll down a hill in the woods.
  • A miscellaneous bride punches her new husband when he calls out "pig" (upon seeing Trey's pet), and she thinks he's talking about her.
  • Trey's pig, hyperactive from eating coffee beans, causes all sorts of comedy-based chaos at a wedding reception, where people and things are knocked aside and over as men there as well as James chase it around.
  • James watches a nature show on TV showing a cheetah chasing down a young gazelle, with the commentator telling the viewers to watch as the cheetah rips off the little gazelle's head (not seen and played for laughs, but it might be a disturbing comment for younger viewers who won't get the joke).
  • James ends up forced to sleep under a bed in a sorority house (where Melanie is spending the night). The next morning, he's caught there, and the sorority housemother uses a tazer to shock him.
  • At the end of their tandem skydiving jump, James and Melanie accidentally knocks a man into a nearby pond. Needing to get to Melanie's interview, they take that man's golf cart, but he then gives chase in another, resulting in him and James doing some sparring with golf clubs. Both then end up racing through a Greek festival, driving through and/or knocking stuff over. That ends with that other man (and a third) accidentally driving into another pond (no one is harmed).
  • Shocked that his daughter is engaged, Doug races toward and tackles that young man to the floor (played for comedy).



  • Reviewed March 5, 2008 / Posted March 7, 2008

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