ninth symphony films - movie reviews

BOAT TRIP (2003)

DIRECTOR  -  mort nathan

RATED  -  pg-13

GENRE  -  comedy

LENGTH  -  93 minutes

RELEASED  -  21 march 2003

DISTRIBUTOR  -  artisan entertainment

OFFICIAL SITE  -  boat trip

boat trip - a shot from the film


buy the dvd from boat trip at

buy the dvd from boat trip at

two straight men mistakenly book a gay singles cruise.

filmed in brazil and germany.


picture from boat trip

picture from boat trip

picture from boat trip


zero out of four possible stars

If someone said Cuba Gooding Jr. starred in Boat Trip as a willing party, that someone would probably be lying. How else can the addition of Cuba to the cast of this film be explained? No rational mind can wrap itself around the horror that this film inspires in potential Oscar winners. Is this the road that all Academy Award winners must travel? Is Adrien Brody just a few years away from Boat Trip 2? It's a rare feat that a film can make such a mess out of such a simple plot, but this film is so riddled with plot holes and unfunny sequences that it will quite possibly turn into one of life's great mysteries as to why this film wasn't sent straight to video.

If anything, the movie might have played better on the small screen, such as an airing as a Comedy Central movie of the week. Or Horatio Sanz could have performed a five minute skit of it on "Saturday Night Live." In fact, the plot of this film is so simple that after approximately five minutes, the plot runs as thin as the weak jokes thrown out at the audience in all of Boat Trip's ninety minutes. While there are a few jokes that will have viewers chuckling, this movie just doesn't have the comedic energy it should possess, given the talent of its cast and their potential.

Does Cuba need to be reminded of the Academy Award he accepted just a few years ago? Why on earth would he take a role like this? The film is so thankless in its appeal that only the very drunk (who find everything funny, regardless of its merit) will find the movie a worthwhile experience. The idea of a manly heterosexual man realizing his faulty thinking in believing that all homosexuals are flaming Queens has certainly been tried before and with more class than the subject was given in this film. Piling stereotype upon stereotype, Boat Trip has very few intelligent things to say about the subject and prefers to dress Cuba in shiny sequined outfits for a couple of laughs rather than get to the heart of the matter.

A film like this (a film that's ninety percent comedy), can have very affecting emotional scenes in it without turning into a melodrama or sacrificing its comedic bite. If anything, the laughs given to the audience would have meant so much more had the filmmakers made an effort to create realistic characters and an interesting storyline on the subject. Stupid can be funny, but not if the entire film feels fake and the characters fail to connect with the audience on some level (whether it be a visceral one or a mental one).

One may balk at the idea of a film so obviously made for laughs including a small amount of intelligence in its plot or some originality in its set pieces, but seeing as the makers of Boat Trip were unable to make the idea of "two guys mistakenly taking a gay cruise" appear interesting for more than one reel, it seems somebody somewhere wasn't doing their job. Was it the director who failed to see that his actors were performing a story with no surprises? Was it the writer who lost his ability to invent and instead created something regurgitated from Hollywood's past? Or perhaps the blame should rest on the actors, who were unable to make their characters sympathetic.

It is literally a trial to really care whether "Jerry Robinson" (he's just lost his fiancée and is now on a boat with 3000 gay men) gets off the cruise ship with his heterosexuality intact. While the idea might provide a few mind chuckles, the execution of it provides far less entertainment than it should. Boat Trip exists as one of the most cliché ridden films to handle human sexuality. Every single scene in this film ahs been created more than once in the past. There is not one iota of material (whether it be character, story, or dialogue) in this film that fans of comedy will not have seen before.

Boat Trip was certainly not made for an intelligent audience as the jokes are the basest of the base and the stupidest of the idiotic. But in aiming so low, the film actually misses its target of being just another stupid comedy to highlight the physical comedy abilities of its stars. Comedy does not have to be stupid and all stupid comedy is not funny. While seeing Cuba Gooding Jr. (does the Academy have the power to rescind Academy Awards?) should give the audience something to smile about when he starts prancing around the stage in a barely-there fish-net costume complete with feathers, plastic, and two foot bobbles, it's surprising how few jokes in this film actually work.

For a film whose sole existence is to make people laugh, this movie can't even accomplish that. It's incredible that the filmmakers focused on nothing else besides comedy to get the film to the screen and couldn't even get that one aspect right. It's a proven fact that both Cuba Gooding Jr. and Horatio Sanz have talent when it comes to comedy. Unfortunately, that talent seems to have been edited from the screen in their collaboration together in a film without an ounce of originality in story or any respect for its subject and characters.

Review by Kelsey Wyatt.

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