Boat Trip (2002) (part 1 of 5)
There’s a term that’s always irritated me in journalism, and that is the clichéd phrase “meteoric rise”. The reason it bugs me is that a piece of celestial debris only becomes a meteor after breaching our atmosphere and following a path of descent. A meteor never rises.
But the path of Cuba Gooding’s career could certainly be described as “meteoric”, given that in the time since his Academy Award, he’s been in a career freefall—and in the case of Boat Trip, he even replicates the meteor’s flameout and violent impact.
This film defies reason. It is antagonistic towards good taste. You may often see reviewers wonder how a bad script managed to make it into production given its blatant flaws, but this movie typifies that sentiment like no other. Once you see what the performers are reduced to doing, as well as uttering, you’ll marvel that anyone actually signed on to this debacle.
First, some brief backstory. Boat Trip was written and directed by Mort Nathan, a veteran writer from the much-loved 1980s series The Golden Girls. Thus, he brings a sophomoric sense of humor to the proceedings, as one might expect, but he does something curious; he reverts back to the mentality of sitcoms of the ‘70s. So while the rest of us were entering a new millennium that promised better treatment of homosexuality in contemporary entertainment, Nathan was serving up sexism and homophobia on par with old episodes of Three’s Company. Hearken back to Mr. Furley’s intolerance and Jack Tripper pretending to troll for tail at the Regal Beagle, and you’ll know exactly what Boat Trip has in store for us.