Usually this kind of film turns me off, but I was talked into watching 'Road Trip' with a bunch of college buddies and a couple of twelve-packs, and I couldn't stop laughing.
Josh (Breckin Meyer) has loved Tiffany (Rachel Blanchard) since they were both five years old. But Josh attends college in upstate New York, while Tiffany has gone to school in Texas. Josh's friends think he's crazy to keep up a long-distance relationship when there are plenty of girls around to . . . date. Particularly alluring is Beth (Amy Smart), who has the hots for Josh. When Josh is unable to locate Tiffany by phone and begins to suspect that she's been cheating on him, he gives in to his urges and brings Beth back to his dorm room for a night of hot love. Beth, eager to show how wild she can be, decides to videotape the encounter. The next day, Josh finds out that he couldn't reach Tiffany because of a family emergency, and is immediately wracked with guilt. Things get more complicated when his knuckleheaded suitemate Barry mistakes the sex tape for a video message to Tiffany which Josh had asked him to drop in the mail. Horrified at the thought of Tiffany popping a tape into the VCR to see him making the double-backed beast with another girl, Josh determines to travel to Texas to intercept the illicit tape. His two best friends--resident prankster E.L. (Sean W. Scott) and stoner-intellectual Rubin (Paul Costanzo)--offer to come along, and help Josh persuade mega-nerd Kyle (D.J. Qualls) to let them use his father's car in exchange for a chance to come along for the ride.
From that point on, 'Road Trip' follows the traditional teen exploitation comedy format, though with greater wit and intelligence than should be expected from the genre. Director Todd Phillips manages to give us slapstick, gross-out comedy while simultaneously poking fun at stereotypes and experiences familiar to anyone who's gone to college (psycho-sorority hazing, TAs trying to make undergrad girls, alcohol- and pot-related shenanigans, the nerd breaking bad, a hilarious run-in at an all-black fraternity house,etc.). Compensating for the adolescent hijinks is the surprisingly smart and thoughtful subplot for Kyle, who transforms from nerdy object of derision into the film's most likable and memorable character.
In the tradition of 'Animal House,' 'Road Trip' is crass and juvenile, but irresistibly funny. Not a movie for date night, but a good choice for gathering around the tube with bongs, brews, and bros. An instant joe six-pack classic.