"College Road Trip" is the kind of movie that its audiences will use once for blowing off steam and then toss aside as if it were shrink-wrap.
This conscientiously juvenile farce, in which an overprotective oaf of a father ( Martin Lawrence) reluctantly shepherds his daughter (Raven-Symone) to a college interview far from home, closes off genuine emotional investment by overinflating, even excusing its characters' boorish behavior.
Lawrence has pulled off this mugging-man-child act for so long now that you can leave for refreshments in the middle of his shtick not only feeling you haven't missed much, but that you'd still be able to play your own fill-in-the-missing-Martin-Lawrence-bits when you return to your seat. That is, assuming you still care at that point whether Raven-Symone's smarty-pants-goody-two-shoes college applicant gets to her interview at Georgetown through all manner of pratfalls and property damage - the kind that Disney used to pull off with a lot more panache in its animated Goofy short-subjects.
As over-the-top as Raven-Symone and Lawrence are, the most antic live-action cartoon characters in "College Road Trip" are the father-daughter tandem of Doug ( Donny Osmond) and Wendy (Molly Ephraim), whose nitro-powered perkiness pass the point of grating and move into a perversely spoofing state of grace. Indeed, if one didn't know any better, one could almost believe Osmond's deliberately clammy injections of processed cheese to be a kind of backhanded commentary on the blander stuff this movie's target audiences are primed to accept without complaint.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun