Boat Trip Movie Review

Directors, screenwriters, and everyone else involved in making a movie have a singular task: make an audience believe in the world onscreen. I'll forgive a lot in a movie, if the characters and their conflicts hold my attention. Boat Trip never makes the effort to establish anything original. The filmmakers are selling you a used world at new world prices. In fact, their opinion of the audience's intelligence is borderline galling.

The plot is a shameless rip off of Some Like It Hot, modified for the Britney generation. Desperate for some female loving, two single guys (Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz) decide to go on a singles cruise. However, thanks to a malicious travel agent (Will Ferrell, smartly appearing unbilled) the two dolts unwillingly wind up on a gay cruise.

Gooding and Sanz decide to leave at the first opportunity, until Gooding meets the ship's luscious dance instructor (Roselyn Sanchez). Gooding, drunk and lonely, immediately falls in love with Sanchez and convinces Sanz to portray his life partner so he can stay close to her. Meanwhile, the Sanz character falls for a member of the "Swedish suntanning team" (Victoria Silvstedt) and even questions his own sexuality.

I don't even want to go into how the Swedish beauties got onto the boat. I don't have enough alcohol on hand.

Within the plot are a string of jokes and characters that will have GLAAD members rummaging for their cell phones. You want a lisping, gay Hispanic? Well, you got him. Can't get enough of seeing homosexuals as prancing, lecherous ass bandits? You're in luck. Jokes on Liza Minelli and "I Will Survive"? All here. Somewhat grave "gays are OK" speech to justify every thoughtless, offensive joke? Yep.

Screenwriters William Bigelow and Mort Nathan (who also directed) either telegraph their jokes or put together scenes without a single shred of thought. It's all about generating empty laughs. Take the scene when Sanz goes into Silvstedt's bedroom for a pre-arranged tryst, and instead orally pleasures Silvstedt's butch coach (Lin Shaye, probably hoping the Farrelly Brothers haven't lost her number).

The scene makes no sense, because why Sanz should be so sneaky? He knows Silvestadt's going to be there, waiting for him. As soon as he saw the lights out in the room, he should have suspected something. Or, if memory serves, he could have knocked on her door, thus clearing any problems. We get this lame bit from Nathan, one of the guys who wrote the hilarious Kingpin?

There are plenty of other stupid setups like that, including the entire premise. In the movie's opening when Gooding proposes to (and later vomits on) his girlfriend (Vivica A. Fox) on a hot-air balloon, he mentions that he gets motion sickness. If that's the case, then why is he on a cruise? If Nathan and Bigelow showed any respect for the audience, Gooding would have spent the entire movie throwing up.

Just like I was.

Check out the unrated Boat Trip DVD for some scandalous extras, some of which greet you right from the second you pop in the disc: topless Playmate sunbathers under the menus of the film. Three minutes of footage are edited back into the film, plus you get a trivia track, deleted scenes, bloopers, and more. Anything to move some discs, huh?

All aboard the New Titanic.


Boat Trip Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: R, 2003


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