Trip [2002/I]

Choosing a college and striking out on one's own is an exciting time that requires a big adjustment by both child and parent, but few parents will have as much difficulty relinquishing control over their daughter's life as Chicago police chief James Porter (Martin Lawrence). The ultimate in loving but overprotective fathers, James wants his daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné) to attend nearby Northwestern College, so when she's waitlisted and called for an interview at Georgetown in Washington, D.C., James gets more than a little nervous. Squashing her plans for a road trip to D.C. with her girlfriends, James insists on a father-daughter expedition which he envisions being full of reminiscing, heart-to-heart conversations, and a healthy dose of persuasive promotion of Northwestern. The car trip definitely doesn't turn out as planned--instead it's a trip rife with strained silences and festering conflict in which the police vehicle rolls down a wooded embankment, Melanie's little brother (Eshaya Draper) and pet pig stow away in the back of the truck, and the Porters inexplicably keep running into a syrupy sweet father (Donny Osmond) and college-bound-daughter (Molly Ephraim) whose close relationship, clean-cut enthusiasm, and willingness to befriend and help the Porters is downright unsettling. Absurdly funny scenes include the family pig crashing and demolishing a fancy outdoor wedding; James' party-loving mother (Arnetia Walker) scrambling to live up to her son's uptight image of her as a fragile, elderly woman; James breaking into a local sorority house and hiding under a bed in hopes of protecting Melanie's innocence, and James' and Melanie's unexpected skydive into Washington, D.C., in order to keep Melanie's interview appointment at Georgetown. In the end, James and Melanie both mature as a result of their road trip and are finally able to forge an emotionally healthy relationship with one another. (Ages 8 and older) --Tami Horiuchi

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