A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Melanie says she's going to spend the night at her best friend's house, but they're really going to a dance party. The chief has his deputies pose as college students during a tour of Northwestern. He also sneaks into a sorority house to check on Melanie. Asians on a tour bus are depicted stereotypically -- they're all karaoke obsessed.
Violence & Scariness
Slapsticky scenes of the chief nearly falling from a second-story window and a pig going wild at a fancy wedding. Two people are buzzed with a taser.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief goodbye/hello kisses and hugs between parents, and mild flirting between Melanie and a couple of college guys.
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Very mild: "stupid" and "dumb."
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Products & Purchases
Northwestern University, University of Pittsburgh, and Georgetown University receive a lot of free publicity; products include a Dell laptop and a Mitsubishi flat-screen TV.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this comedy stars Raven-Symone and features Lucas Grabeel and Brenda Song, all of whom lots of kids know and love from their popular Disney Channel shows and movies. Given that immediate Disney tie-in, expect even young elementary schoolers to show an interest in the movie. The good news is that despite Martin Lawrence's history as a foulmouthed stand-up comic, this is one family-friendly flick. There are a couple of scenes of slapsticky mayhem (like when a pet pig runs amok at a wedding reception), and a few moments of teens badmouthing parents who just don't understand; otherwise, there's nothing here to worry about. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Lawrence seems to be following the well-worn path of other formerly risque stand-up comics, making his living in watered-down, family-friendly comedies. This latest piece of Disney fluff is at least pleasant and better than expected. All parents (whether they have college students or not) can relate to the bittersweet realization that their kids are growing up. The discrepancy between how close James thinks he is to Melanie and how little he actually knows of her plans will probably strike close to home for many viewers, particularly teens and parents. For that reason, it's clear that director Roger Kumble wanted movie-going parents to relate to -- not just tolerate -- the plot.
In addition to Raven, who's so successful that she's one of the movie's executive producers, COLLEGE ROAD TRIP is filled with other recognizable stars from Disney franchises, like Lucas Grabeel from High School Musical and Brenda Song from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (all of which just makes the movie feel even more like a Disney Channel special than a big-screen event). Younger fans will also get a kick out of Melanie's genius younger brother, Trey (Eshaya Draper), who stows away with his faithful pet pig, Albert. Between Lawrence's slapstick, the presence of Raven and her fellow Disney-anointed stars, and the funny kid and his pig, there are bound to be laughs (and perhaps a couple of tears) in store for everyone in the family.
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Our Editors Recommend
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