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Car Trouble 

Do yourself a favor and stay home from this Road Trip

No doubt, DreamWorks considers Road Trip which is ostensibly about a college student (Clueless’s Breckin Meyer) and his three pals who high-tail it from Ithaca, New York, to Austin, Texas, to retrieve a damning sex tape before the girlfriend sees it its entry into the annual Tasteless Summer Teen Comedy Sweepstakes, hoping it vacuums up the loose change American Pie didn’t suck up last year. It stars Pie’s Seann William Scott, reprising the same role the guy who grins like an idiot because he is one. Even the poster looks identical, perhaps because DreamWorks knows it can con the underage audience into thinking it is the same movie. And it pretty much is, with one major difference: American Pie was funny, Road Trip is not. Ever. Well . . . there is that one scene when MTV anything-for-a-laugh hooligan Tom Green puts a live mouse in his mouth.

Actually, the Tom Green scenes belong in a completely different film though not necessarily a better one. Green’s scenes play as though they were shot during post-production and spliced in 12 minutes before the projectionist loaded the canister. It’s as though DreamWorks execs saw the film, realized that smell wasn’t coming from the bottom of their shoes, and tried desperately to figure out a way they could salvage the wreckage.

Green appears only a handful of times with the rest of the cast, playing a guy who’s been in college seven years (it looks more like 17) and has never set foot outside Ithaca. His shtick, sometimes amusing and even stupid-brilliant on rare occasion, belongs on the small screen, where it serves as a respite between Backstreet Boys videos. On the big screen, where it’s scripted and rehearsed, it wears unbearably thin long before he literally shows his ass.

Which really isn’t, since the four boys barely do anything between Ithaca and Austin except stop in at a diner, visit some grandparents, hang out at a black fraternity house, and donate sperm is nothing but a ninth-rate compendium of Playboy party jokes. Say, did you hear the one about the scrawny white virgin who lost his cherry to the fat black chick? Or the one about the scrawny white virgin who ate French toast that had been stuck up the fry-cook’s ass? Pity the poor fool waiting for a punch line; there is none. There’s only one more anal-rape joke or old-man hard-on or female nipple around the corner, waiting to steal your wallet and your spirit.

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