Boat Trip – 1 out of 5
Since I started to get into listening to more podcasts, I’ve been an avid fan of Dan Harmon’s Harmontown. I’m already a fan of the dude’s shows (Rick & Morty is one of the greatest things put on TV, in my opinion. It not only is hysterical but it helps fill the void for excellently written and unbelievably hysterical science fiction animated comedy that Futurama left in me) and his podcast brings just more hilarity from the guy for me (and other fans) to enjoy. One thing he brings up a lot in recent episodes (especially when he had Horatio Sanz on) is the film Boat Trip. I’ve never seen this movie and passed on it when it came out in 2002. However, due to the podcast and the ridiculous scenes that occur in the film that Harmon described, I decided that I need to breakdown and see if the film is as ridiculous as he says it is. If you’re reading Dan Harmon (and you’re not), you are 100% right.
|Even a brief cameo by Will Ferrell can't save this film...and also raises the question of|
why did he do this one?
The premise to this film is simple: Jerry (Cuba Gooding Jr.) is about to propose to his girlfriend Felicia (Vivica A. Fox) but she informs him she’s leaving him for another man. Naturally, Jerry is down so his friend Nick (Horatio Sanz), after getting struck by a stroke of brilliance, decides the two should take a singles cruise because they believe it will leave them drowning in tang (not their words). The only problem is they end up on a gays only cruise. This wouldn’t be too bad if it not for the fact that Nick is very clearly homophobic and insecure with his heterosexuality and the fact that Jerry meets a beautiful woman; the ship’s dance instructor (Roselyn Sanchez), and she thinks he’s gay. Now Jerry must have Nick pretend they are a couple in order to get closer to her…and hilarity (in some form, I guess) ensues.
|Ha ha...look at them over-acting and mugging. That's comedy, right?|
Dan Harmon’s feelings about this film are not positive. His rants about the feature are very amusing and, often when I heard them described, I began to question if he was intentionally exaggerating the truth and making the film sound more ridiculous than it really was. For example, he describes a scene where Sanchez’s character performs oral sex on a banana in order to show Jerry—a man she thinks is gay—her technique. Harmon goes off (in a hysterical way) in the podcast about how the banana ends up looking very Johnson-like and I thought there is no way they could have gone the distance to carve a banana to have a facsimile of a shaft and tip of a human male dick. Then he describes Jerry literally ejaculating outside of a window portal and having said ejaculate land on a man’s face. Once again, I said that this has to be an exaggeration because an actor like Cuba Gooding Jr. wouldn’t subject himself to that…would he? And you know what? He fucking did! Both those scenes exist and they exist EXACTLY how Dan Harmon described it!
|At this point, the film is just the writer's inner psyche unleashing itself on film.|
Granted, these ridiculous sequences come much later in the film but, by the time they arrive, you are already neck deep in a film that is just astoundingly bad (although I’ve seen worse). The movie is so unapologetically homophobic and plays off of bad gay stereotypes that, by 2002, were already considered in bad taste and can’t be played off like it came from another time period. Had the film been made in the 70s or 80s—heck, maybe the early 90s—this might have been written off as a “different time” but we already knew better than to not be so blatantly homophobic and that makes the whole film seem very mean spirited and makes the two main characters über-unlikable. The film tries to rectify this by having Horatio Sanz see the error of his ways by starting to accept homosexuality and even go as far to think he might be gay but this never feels completely sincere—basically because the moment he learns he’s totes straight, he quickly leaves his newly discovered gay friends to bury his face in the breasts of the Swedish bikini team member that ended up on the boat played by former Playboy playmate Victoria Silvstedt—and I’m not even going to get into the absolutely stupid sequence of events that led to that happening. The whole thing felt insincere and like it was there as a way for the production to get away with as many mean-spirited gay jokes as they could—almost exactly like the terrible Adam Sandler film (I guess I don’t really need to add the descriptive “terrible” when describing a Sandler film, it's a bit redundant) I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. It wants to fool you into thinking a lesson of equality was learned at the end but it never feels genuine and feels like a half-hearted apology so they can get away with bad, offensive humor.
|This movie is acting like if you can put up with the bad homophobic it will reward you|
with a former playmate in a bikini.
The only real saving grace the film has is the fact it had the brass balls big enough to even get itself made and have the cast that it does. Gooding had previous won an Academy Award before this and was on his way to stardom (and this movie might be why his career tanked the way it did), Sanz might not be a go-to funny guy but when put in the right situation the dude can be really funny and the film even gives you one of the Bonds—Roger Moore—playing a man on the prowl on the cruise. Of course, he admitted he did the film for the paycheck and the free vacation it offered. That might be an excuse that was passed around a lot during production.
|Okay, this might actually be worth it to see Roger Moore seductively lick a sausage.|
Realistically, this film is very much deserving of a 0 out of 5. The humor is that perfect level of offensive and poorly written that it never passes that threshold of being both off-putting but a guilty laugh at the same time. All the jokes and the majority of characteristics that define the character of Nick feel like they were written by a man who is severely insecure over his sexuality and is the kind of person who probably dropped the word “fag” without wincing or hesitation. Ultimately, this whole film and its story are built on a foundation that automatically assumes that homosexuals are alien to heterosexuals and that instantly means comedy. However, as the film quickly proves to you over and over again that this isn’t true and that just having a gay stereotype running through the scene does not constitute humor…but it’s not like the rest of the humor was any better.
|So, was there a time when just having a dude in women's clothing caused people|
to explode with laughter?
Even scenes that didn’t depend on the writer's concept of “Hey, aren’t those queers weird to us that love pussy?” came off weak and paltry. Comedy is very subjective but this film just felt like it wasn’t putting any effort into its humor…or the story, the characters, the editing—heck, this film just reeked of a lack of trying. The whole movie felt like their motto was "Why Try?" The only thing that really seemed like any effort was being put forth was the performances of Horatio Sanz and Cuba Gooding Jr. No, they weren’t good, I’m not saying that. Instead, these two are acting as big as they can and overacting the living fuck out of every single scene. Whether this was done to disguise how badly the comedy is, I’ll never know but, I can say this: If that was the case, it didn’t work at all.
|"Sure the comedy sucks but here's some broads in bikinis." - the director.|
Boat Trip is just flat-out fucking ridiculous and unbelievably terrible. Even with all that Dan Harmon described, I wasn’t truly ready for how awful this film was. Most of the acting is just way, waaayyyy too over-the-top, the editing is horrendous and isn’t even acceptable to a first year film student, the premise just screams like something you’d see on a terrible sitcom that is canceled after one episode and the gay stereotypes and the mean-spirited humor that comes from it (and the insincere apology that follows) are in very poor taste and feel like they would be a bad idea even when bad ideas like gay stereotype humor was considered acceptable. It definitely deserves my lowest rating but because it provides endless humor through Dan Harmon, it gets a single point higher.