Boat Trip Movie Review

Driven entirely by tedious clichés, vulgar stereotypes, tawdry and low-brow raunch-as-comedy gags, and the degrading, almost minstrel-show antics of a mugging, rubber-faced Cuba Gooding Jr., "Boat Trip" is a gay-themed movie aimed squarely and exclusively at stupid straight people.

The contrived mix-up plot finds Gooding and John Belushi-wannabe Horatio Sanz ("Saturday Night Live") trapped onboard a cruise ship full of gay men for a weeklong voyage, and writer-director Mort Nathan (who scripted the Farrelly Brothers' "Kingpin") finds endless excuses for them to act cartoonishly homosexual in order to score with the few women on board.

Gooding has fallen for the ship's dance instructor (Roselyn Sanchez) -- a steamy Latina who walks around in see-through linen tops and three pounds of eye shadow while professing "I don't care about makeup, I don't care about what I'm wearing." Meanwhile fat, ugly, loutish Sanz has the hots for a brain-dead bimbo (Playboy Playmate Victoria Silvstedt) from the "Swedish suntanning team" who was rescued from a shipwreck along with a dozen other swimsuit models. Inexplicably, she has the hots for him too -- not because there's anything attractive about him whatsoever, but because the director is transparently more interested in any excuse for bug-eyed boob shots than he is in anything remotely resembling story or humor.

Full of ironically burly cross-dressers and lisping queens in sequined leather chaps and feather boas (with a couple token "normal" gay guys thrown in as a limp attempt at political correctness), "Boat Trip" lacks even a single millisecond of creativity as our heroes act obtusely light in their loafers, lest they lose the trust of the girls, who are convinced the two are lovers.

The movie slogs through crude-for-the-sake-of-crude jokes ("Excuse me fellas, I'm gonna go trim the landing strip," a woman in a bar tells them for no good reason) and absurdly out-dated ideas of homosexual signaling ("You better make sure it's the right ear," Sanz tells Gooding after he's gotten pierced). Lengthy, lifeless sex-farce scenes abound (bananas are used to demonstrate certain acts, ad nauseum) and most performances are at best gauche (Gooding's and Sanz's), at worst flat-out incompetent (Silvstedt's).

Ham-handed director Nathan offers up a single, seemingly obligatory, 30-second tolerance lesson so transparently insincere that the he can't even bother with continuity (a character says he just came out of the closet, then two minutes later says his father hasn't talked to him in 20 years because he's gay). And the film concludes with one of those shopworn and misogynistic "happy endings" in which immature men are taken back -- after a brief, half-hearted apology -- by women they've betrayed and treated with contempt.

The only two even slightly redeeming factors of this obscenely uncouth bomb come in the performances of the fearlessly comical Lin Shaye ("Kingpin," "There's Something About Mary") as the "tanning team's" very butch coach with super-human sexual abilities, and Roger Moore, whose James Bond baggage makes him an inherently funny choice to play the cruise's veteran queen predator.


Comments

Boat Trip Rating

" Hmmm "

Rating: R, WIDE: Friday, March 21, 2003

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