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  Boat Trip Comedy Of Embarrassment
Year: 2002
Director: Mort Nathan
Stars: Cuba Gooding Jr, Horatio Sanz, Roselyn Sanchez, Vivica A. Fox, Maurice Godin, Roger Moore, Lin Shaye, Victoria Silvstedt, Ken Hudson Campbell, Zen Gesner, William Bumiller, Noah York, Richard Roundtree, Bob Gunton, Jennifer Gareis, Will Ferrell
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Six months ago, Jerry Robinson (Cuba Gooding Jr) had it all planned out: he was going to ask his girlfriend Felicia (Vivica A. Fox) to marry him, and it was going to be so romantic, taking her up in a hot air balloon to propose. Unfortunately things did not go as well as he'd hoped once they were in the sky, because Jerry got airsick and threw up over her, then she turned him down as she had found someone else. Now, still pining, his best friend Nick (Horatio Sanz) decides to help him out of his doldrums: what better than a singles cruise?

Possibly better for Jerry and Nick if it wasn't a gay singles cruise, but that's what they got when Nick pissed off the travel agent in a comedy that not a lot of people found especially amusing. This was down to it being regarded as homophobic, as much of the humour relied on the main duo's unease with the gay fraternity, and ever after either it was turned down by the homosexuals because they thought it was making fun of them, or turned down by the heterosexuals because they didn't like the idea of watching something with such a contentious theme, whether they were gay-friendly or not.

Those who actually watched it would find much of their fears confirmed, yet for the more openminded, and those who recognised that the film was no more about being anti-gay than it was about being anti-Swedish, there was fun to be had here. Mainly this benefited from a surprisingly generous nature, so it may have been a gay movie for straight audiences when it came down to it, but it heart was in the right place as it granted there were differences between its characters but didn't allow that to get in the way of them having a good time with each other. The most important aspect would be how funny it was.

So if you freed your mind and found the notion of Roger Moore as a gay older man amusing - and he obviously did - then you might have actually enjoyed yourself. Indeed, the most worrying part of the movie was the beginning, where it starts with the mightily overused I Feel Good by James Brown on the soundtrack, and seems to be fulfilling the dread the audience might have felt by putting Jerry and Nick on that cruise through the subterfuge of a same-sex travel agent couple (one of them Will Ferrell in a cameo) after Nick annoys them. But stick with it and the fundamental ridiculouness combined with a cheerfully silly mindset may have won you over.

Of course, this did not extend to Jerry and Nick falling for other men, or even each other, but neither were they aggressively pursued by the passengers, undercutting any justification of potential gay panic that might have left the viewer uncomfortable. Just to make straight audiences feel less excluded, there were two women aboard the ship who our heroes became romantically attached to, except the ladies - dance instructor Gabriella (Roselyn Sanchez) and Swedish tanning championships contestant Inga (Victoria Silvstedt, in on the joke) - have no idea that these two chaps are actually interested in them due to their surroundings. The stage was set for farce, and that's pretty much what you got, all without a mean bone in its body, so to speak. Boat Trip sadly became a film its defenders, few as they were, felt the need to make excuses for, and it certainly wasn't important enough to make the case it was seriously misunderstood, but in quite a few places it was very funny. Music by Robert Folk.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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