Road Trip

Road Trip (2000)
Dreamworks Home Entertainment
Cast: Tom Green, Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott
Extras: Deleted Scenes, Music Video, Featurette, Theatrical Trailer, Cast & Crew Bios

Every few years, we get an updated version of the ’crude college movie.’ The latest pretender to the ’Animal House’ throne is ’Road Trip’, featuring the mysteriously popul MTV comic Tom Green. Fortunately, Green is only the narrator of this wild-ride of a comedy, which stars Breckin Meyer as Josh, a college student who makes three big mistakes. First, he cheats on his life-long girlfriend with dormitory slut Beth (Amy Smart). Second, he allows Beth to videotape their tryst. Third, he tells his roomate Rubin (Paulo Costanzo) to mail a video letter to his girlfriend, but the roommate accidentally mails the sex tape. Now, it’s a race against time as Josh must get from New York to Texas in three days to intercept the tape and save his relationship. Josh and Rubin enlist the help of the smarmy E.L. (Seann William Scott of ’American Pie’, here acting just like Jim Carrey), and they recruit the nerdy Kyle (DJ Qualls) to come along as well, only because he’s the only one who has a car. As is to be expected, the four guys run into countless obstacles on their trip, but this leads to many humorous episodes.

’Road Trip’ is surprisingly lightweight and fun (I mean, I hadn’t expected Tolstoy, here), and isn’t nearly as crude or cruel as it could have been. Documentary filmmaker Todd Phillips gives the film a great look and a nice pace. Of course, the plot is simply an excuse to move the guys from one outrageous situation to the next, but the movie never drags and all four of the key players give good comedic performances, especially Meyer. While the movie doesn’t have as many big comedic scenes as I’d hoped, there are several subtle moments of humor in the film. (My favorite scene is when the quartet is singing ’I Wanna Rock’. It’s a guy thing.) Still, it pales in comparison to films such as ’There’s Something About Mary.’ ’Road Trip’ is playful fun, but as this is Phillips’ feature-film debut, he doesn’t have the chops of the Farrelly Brothers necessary to balance a truly interesting story with incredibly gross humor.

The ’Road Trip’ DVD comes to us courtesy of Dreamworks Home Video, and is available in an R-rated version, or an unrated cut, which includes footage not seen in the theatrical release. The movie is presented in an anamorphic widescreen and is letterboxed at 1.85:1. The transfer here is very well done, as the image displays no distortion or signs of artifacting. There are no signs of damage to the source print and the overall image comes across as very clear. The colors, most notably the green grass of the college campus and the yellow of the school bus, look very good. The DVD offers a choice of a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack or a DTS mix. Both sound equally good, as the wide dynamic range makes good use of surround sound and the constant music on the track is nicely modulated, giving a hefty amount of work to the subwoofer. The dialogue is clear and audible.

The DVD features eight deleted scenes, most of which are simply throwaway gags, but you may find one or two gems in these scenes, as well as a 5-minute behind-the-scenes featurette in which Tom Green roams the set, interviewing the cast and crew and typically getting in the way. Along with the theatrical trailer for ’Road Trip’, we have a music video by Eels for the song, ’Mr. E’s Beautiful Blues’.

I can’t recommend that you drive cross-country to see ’Road Trip’, but it’s definitely worth a jaunt to the video store.