14 March 2003
A lot of
movies aim for the lowest common denominator. Boat Trip is
merely low. There's no common denominator here. This flick is simply
beneath its viewers.
Nathan once had a hand in the script for the Farrelly Brothers'
Kingpin, but he has no recollection of what made the pervious
film as amusing as it was tasteless. Boat Trip exudes
tackiness, and there's even a semen gag like the one in There's
Something about Mary. On his own, though, Nathan's not funny.
He's merely gross.
His first of a
multitude of blunders is trying to make the audience care about two
of the dumbest bipeds in screen history. Ostriches have an edge over
Jerry (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) and Nick (Horatio Sanz, a.k.a the loud
obnoxious fellow you hire when Jack Black is too expensive or doing
better things). The former is breaking his heart over a spoiled rich
girl (a sadly misused Vivica A. Fox) who has dumped him months
before, and Nick is so dim and annoying that he'll never have to
resort to artificial birth control. Nick is so slight-of-brain that
he accidentally insults his own mother while trading putdowns with
discovers that cruise ships offer even dolts like Jerry and himself
the chance to meet available women, the two head for the travel
office. They make the mistake of upsetting a travel agent (an
unbilled Will Farrell, who's one of the film's few bright spots),
and the bitter fellow sends the two would-be swingers on a gay
cruise without telling them.
Much of the
reason that Boat Trip is so dreary is that we as the audience
figures out the setup long before these Rhodes Scholars get a clue.
When two fellows in bondage outfits and a slew of drag queens pass
by, Jerry and Nick's obliviousness seems insulting to both them and
the viewers. Couldn't these guys at least notice there are no
biological female passengers?
One of the guilty
charms of Kingpin is that the characters were reasonably
intelligent (Harrelson knows that bowling isn't the most practical
way to make a buck), but fate still had a way of making fools of
them. The scenario in Boat Trip inspires a "serves you right"
contempt for the Nick and Jerry that never lets up. On board, Jerry
falls for the only woman on the vessel, a dance instructor (Roselyn
Sanchez, from Rush Hour 2) who prefers the company of gay
men. Meanwhile Nick plays poker with some gay card sharks and
discovers they aren't so bad. No kidding?
was kind of amusing when it happened in the Rock Hudson comedy
Pillow Talk. The idea's even funnier now because we now know
that Hudson was a gay actor playing a straight character trying to
convince a potential girlfriend he's gay ("I don't know how long I
can keep this up," he says in a voiceover). Gooding's performance,
of course has no such subtext or even substance. The Oscar winner
stumbles through a drag show and does more mugging than a coffee
shop. Having demonstrated a finesse in both drama (Boyz N the
Hood) and comedy (Jerry McGuire), it's a shame this guy
has continually squandered his formidable talent on undeserving junk
like Chill Factor, Instinct and Pearl Harbor.
Next time, Cuba, try reading the script before you sign the
Many gay viewers
will quickly tire of the stereotypes, and women get degraded as
well. There's an irritating subplot involving a Swedish sunbathing
team rescued by the cruise ship. One member is even played by
Playboy video regular Victoria Silvstedt. Their arrival is so
contrived that the site of scantily clad visitors quickly looses its
ogle factor. As can only happen in a film like this, Silvstedt falls
About the only
think remarkably interesting about Boat Trip is that it
features the first and only known pairing of movie icons James Bond
and John Shaft. Roger Moore and Richard Roundtree both appear in
Boat Trip but share no screen time and should probably consider
erasing it from their résumés. At least Moore seems to enjoy playing
a hedonistic cruise passenger, which is more than can be said for
the rest of the cast.
As the movie
progressed, I longed to hear Celine Dion warble about her heart
going on, not because I like the sappy tune but because it would be
an indication that this dreary boat would sink.