Published Mar 01, 2003Boat Trip casts Cuba Gooding Jr. as Jerry, an easy going guy who's just been dumped by his long-time girlfriend (Vivica A. Fox). His best buddy Nick (Horatio Sanz) coerces him into taking a cruise that's guaranteed to be filled with available women, but through circumstances too convoluted to be explained here, the two wind up on a cruise for gay men. By the time they realise what's going on, the ship's left port, leaving the pair stuck onboard for a week. But Jerry unwittingly finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dance instructor named Gabriella, who, of course, thinks he's a homosexual.
It's a great premise that could've made for a hilarious wacky comedy but co-writer/director Mort Nathan blows it right from the word go. The most obvious mistake he makes is having Nick and Jerry figure out they're on a gay cruise almost immediately. A lot of comedy could've come from their reactions as they wandered around the ship wondering where all the women were. But in having them discover the truth so quickly, the film settles into predictability a lot sooner than it should have. The romantic subplot between Jerry and Gabriella receives so much screen time that it can hardly even be considered a subplot.
But more than that, the majority of Boat Trip just isn't funny. Though the film tries awfully hard to elicit laughter, most of the jokes here are of the stupid and obvious variety. Granted, this isn't exactly a storyline that lends itself to high-class banter, but the potential for hilarity is certainly there. However, rather than try something different with so many familiar comedic bits, Nathan sticks with the tried and true, and the end result of virtually every humorous moment can be seen coming a mile away.
As for the actors, Gooding Jr. and Sanz deliver exactly the sort of "over the top" performances one would expect from such a film. The only standout is Roger Moore, as a confidently suave gay man who's fruitlessly pursuing Nick. Moore looks as though he's having a lot of fun spoofing his Bond image and provides the film with its only laughs.
2003 has thus far been rife with lousy comedies and Boat Trip is the latest. Despite a seemingly foolproof premise, the film never lives up to its potential and only serves as yet another nail in Cuba Gooding Jr.'s once promising career.