Apr 4, 2012
Boat Trip (2002) (part 1 of 5)
The Cast of Characters:
Jerry Robinson (Cuba Gooding Jr.). Spurned by his fiancée, Jerry is pulled out of his funk by a friend who proposes they take a cruise to meet women. Unfortunately, it doesn’t turn out to be that kind of cruise. On this cruise, Jerry learns things like tolerance, being true to yourself, and how to properly pair a pastel shirt with the correct loafers.
Nick Ragoni (Horatio Sanz). Jerry’s best friend, and the primary motivating force behind this entire plot. Completely unappealing, with his misogyny in direct proportion to his repulsiveness (and waistline). Delivers all of his lines like he’s in a long-form SNL skit.
Gabriella (Roselyn Sanchez). The obligatory love interest, and also the only female employee onboard this cruise. The most likeable character in this fiasco, and that’s primarily due to her general avoidance of bras.
Felicia (Vivica A. Fox). Jerry’s ex-fiancée, and basic all-around harpy. Hers is a one-note character who does whatever’s required by the script. Since Ms. Fox is given little to do but flaunt her cleavage, they could have saved a lot of money hiring a lower tier actress. I hear Traci Bingham needs work.
Lloyd Faversham (Roger Moore). In defiance of all sense of logic and decorum, this former James Bond appears as a wrinkled old butt-pirate (hey, that’s not nearly as insulting as some of the lines he delivers) who lusts after Horatio Sanz. When it comes to actors humiliating themselves in a bad movie, nobody does it better (worse?) than Roger Moore.
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.