BOAT TRIP (2003)
Starring Cuba Gooding Jr., Horatio Sanz, Roselyn Sanchez, Viveca A. Fox, Roger Moore, Maurice Godin, Victoria Silvstedt, Lin Shaye, Bob Gunton, Richard Roundtree, Artie Lange and Will Ferrell.
Screenplay by Mort Nathan and William Bigelow.
Directed by Mort Nathan.
Distributed by Artisan Entertainment. 95 minutes. Rated R.
I seem to remember; somewhere a long time ago, hearing a wild rumor that Cuba Gooding, Jr. had won an Oscar for his acting. This is obviously insane. The man responsible for Instinct, Rat Race and Snow Dogs was the best supporting actor of the year… any year? But for those of you who thought his career had bottomed out in Snow Dogs, think again.
In Boat Trip, Gooding plays a man who has broken up with his girlfriend (Viveca A. Fox) and decides to ease his pain by taking a singles cruise with his wacky buddy (Horatio Sanz of Saturday Night Live). Through a series of complications way too tedious to cover here, the friends mistakenly end up on a cruise for gays. Sanz, of course, wants to jump ship, but Gooding falls for a gorgeous, saucy dance teacher (Roselyn Sanchez). The only problem is that she thinks he’s gay. Cue hilarious laughter, zany misadventures to ensue.
Okay, let’s forget for a second that the storyline was stolen from a rerun of The Love Boat. We’ll even overlook the fact that most of the jokes are homophobic, sexist or both. Worse than predictability and bad taste is the fact that Boat Trip is just not the least bit funny. When a film has to use the old gag where Gooding falls fully dressed into a pool, you know the ideas are running on fumes. When they do it FOUR times, it’s time to put the cast and the audience out of its misery.
Gooding, who apparently has never met a bad script that he didn’t like, tries his best to inject some snap into the ridiculous lines and situations, but he ends up overcompensating so much that he looks silly. Sanz pulls off the not unimpressive trick of making the late Chris Farley… his predecessor as SNL’s “only-funny-‘cause-he’s-fat-player”… seem like he was subtle and restrained in his comic technique. Sadly, Sanz is even less funny than Farley was, which isn’t exactly shooting for the moon, anyway. Fox is given a totally irredeemable character as the girlfriend from hell… and she totally lives down to the role.
Supporting players like Roger Moore and Maurice Godin come out looking ridiculous playing gay stereotypes of the aging sugar daddy and the flouncing drag queen. The only person who makes it out of this film relatively unscathed is Sanchez, who is likable enough (and sexy enough, frankly) that the audience might actually see another film that has her name on the marquee. I doubt that can be said for any of the other stars of Boat Trip. (3/03)
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2003 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: March 23, 2003.