College Road Trip

College Road Trip is a 2008 American family comedy film directed by Roger Kumble and starring Martin Lawrence, Raven-Symoné, Brenda Song, Margo Harshman, and Donny Osmond. The film centers on college-bound teen Melanie Porter (Raven-Symoné), who goes on a road trip to different colleges with her father. The film was released by Walt Disney Pictures in the United States on March 7, 2008. The film garnered negative reviews from critics.

College Road Trip
College Road Trip Poster 2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoger Kumble
Produced byAndrew Gunn
Written byEmi Mochizuki
Carrie Evans
Cinco Paul
Ken Daurio
Martin Lawrence
Donny Osmond
Music byEdward Shearmur
CinematographyTheo van de Sande
Edited byRoger Bondelli
Distributed byWalt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • March 7, 2008 (2008-03-07)
Running time
83 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$25 million[1]
Box office$51.5 million


The film is about Melanie Porter (Raven-Symoné), a 17-year-old college-bound girl who is getting ready to graduate from high school and really wants to go to Georgetown University. However, her father James Porter (Martin Lawrence), the chief of police in the quiet Chicago suburb where they live, is overprotective of Melanie, and isn't ready for her to leave and study so far away from home. James has other plans for Melanie; he wants her to go to Northwestern University which is only 28 minutes away from home. James also receives problems from disagreements with his real estate agent wife, Michelle (Kym E. Whitley), the family pig Albert, who continuously annoys him, and his young son Trey (Eshaya Draper), who spends much time with the pig. Melanie gets invited to an interview at Georgetown after a college recruiter saw her performance at a mock trial. Her two best friends, Nancy (Brenda Song) and Katie (Margo Harshman), offer to take her on their college road trip to Pittsburgh. Melanie is all set to go with her friends until her father surprises her with his own college road trip to Washington, D.C..

On their way, Melanie reluctantly visits Northwestern to take a tour. They meet an almost-too-happy father and daughter duo, Doug (Donny Osmond) and Wendy (Molly Ephraim), who are on their own college road trip. James has planted actors at Northwestern, one screaming at Melanie they lost an eye at Georgetown. Melanie almost falls for it until one of the actors says to her "Yeah, the chief's a pretty smart guy", since he never met James.

Their car soon breaks down and they find Trey in the trunk with Albert and a supply of oxygen. They stop at a hotel (thanks to Albert's navigating), but Albert eats coffee beans and becomes hyperactive, leading to him crashing and ruining a wedding. They run into Doug and Wendy again, who offer James and Melanie a ride since James' car broke down. Later, Melanie and her father ride on a tour bus where they try to work out their differences. At one destination, Nancy and Katie show up and take Melanie to a sorority house. James, due to a misunderstanding, and the owner not letting him in to check on her, sneaks into the house. After hearing that his daughter has faith in him, he decides to leave the next morning. Unfortunately, after Melanie leaves, he gets caught by the owner, brutally tazed, and arrested. James' mother comes to bail him out, and opens up about her own past fears when her son went to the Army, but still believed in her son to go his own path.

James and Melanie end up forgiving each other at the airport. After dropping off Trey, they skydive to make the interview at Georgetown. Melanie is nervous, but James tells her she can do it and that they didn't come all this way for nothing. She then is accepted into Georgetown, which Wendy is accepted into, too.

In the end, James copes with letting go and three months later, the Porters invite the Greenhuts to their Thanksgiving dinner. Melanie introduces her boyfriend Tracy (Benjamin Patterson). James accepts this, and Wendy announces her engagement to Scooter (Lucas Grabeel), a chipper young man who behaves exactly like Doug. This causes Doug to finally snap and attack Scooter.


  • Raven-Symoné as Melanie Porter, James' daughter and a very bright young girl with aspirations to get into Georgetown.
  • Martin Lawrence as Chief James Porter, an Army veteran and police chief of a small Illinois suburb. He is very overprotective of his daughter, Melanie, but finally lets go and allows her to live her life.
  • Eshaya Draper as Trey Porter, James' son. He is very intellectually gifted beyond his age. He stows away on the trip with the family pig, Albert.
  • Donny Osmond as Doug Greenhut, an overly-energetic man who is taking his equally energetic daughter on a college road trip. He stops to help James and Melanie when their car breaks down and initially freaks James out. However, in the end it is shown the families are friends as they are celebrating Thanksgiving together.
  • Molly Ephraim as Wendy Greenhut, an energetic and chipper young woman who is on a college tour with her father and ends up befriending the Porters. At the end of the film she is engaged to Scooter.
  • Kym Whitley as Michelle Porter, James' wife and Melanie's mother
  • Brenda Song as Nancy Carter, one of Melanie’s friends
  • Margo Harshman as Katie, one of Melanie’s friends
  • Arnetia Walker as Grandma Porter, James' mother
  • Vincent Pastore as Freddy
  • Lucas Grabeel as Scooter, a member of Melanie's graduating class and her intellectual rival. He behaves exactly like Doug and even gets engaged to his daughter in the end.
  • Benjamin Patterson as Tracy
  • Will Sasso as Deputy O'Mally, one of James' co-workers on the police force
  • Geneva Carr as Mrs. O'Mally, Deputy O'Mally's pregnant wife
  • Josh Meyers as Deputy Stuart, one of James' co-workers on the police force
  • Julia Frisoli as Mrs. Greenhut, Doug's wife and Wendy's mother
  • Michael Landes as Donny
  • Kristian Kordula as Nick
  • Joseph R. Gannascoli as Mr. Arcarra
  • Kelly Coffield Park as Sorority House Mother
  • Brianna Shea Russo as Ally


Scene for College Road Trip being filmed in Stamford, Connecticut

Cinco Paul and partner Ken Daurio wrote the most recent draft. The movie was born out of the Disney Writers Program by Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki. The movie was produced by Andrew Gunn/Gunn Films and directed by Roger Kumble.[2]


To promote the movie in the United States, Raven-Symoné appeared on WWE WrestleMania XXIV, Chelsea Lately, MTV's TRL, Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, BET's 106 & Park, The Cheetah girls and The Oprah Winfrey Show. The theme song of the movie was "Double Dutch Bus", sung by Raven-Symoné. The music video for the song appeared on Disney Channel and was included in her self-titled album. The music video included scenes from the movie. Disney Channel TV spots were aired promoting the film in the United States.

The first trailer appeared alongside Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium and Enchanted.

Advertising for the film used the tagline "They just can't get there fast enough."

The film did not receive a cinema release in Australia. Although promotions for the film aired on Disney Channel Australia, a confirmed date for the movie to begin screening in theatres was never given. The film was released direct-to-DVD instead.


Critical receptionEdit

The review aggregator at Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 12% based on 73 reviews, with an average rating of 3.3/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Filled with shrill gags and middling slapstick, College Road Trip is woefully short on comic imagination."[3] Metacritic gave the film a score of 34 out of 100, based on 46 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[4]

The New York Times gathered positive reviews toward the leading cast's performance. 411 Mania gave it a final score of 7.5 out of 10 based on several reviews and managed to give it a positive DVD and film review.[5] The film also received positive reviews from,[6] Kansas City Star and several other publications[7] including the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The film also received negative reviews from USA Today and San Francisco Chronicle.

Box officeEdit

In its opening weekend, the film grossed approximately $13.6 million in 2,706 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #2 at the box office.[8] The movie continued on to gross $31,117,834 to finish off the month and closed with earnings above $45 million in domestic territories.[citation needed]

Home mediaEdit

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on July 15, 2008. Both the DVD and BD releases contain the following bonus features.

  • Deleted scenes including alternate opening and ending
  • "Double Dutch Bus" music video
  • Audio commentary by director Roger Kumble, writers Carrie Evans and Emi Mochizuki, and stars
  • Raven's Video Diary - Tag along on the set of the hot young stars from sensation Disney shows and movies
  • On the Set: "Double Dutch Bus" - A behind-the-scenes look at the filming of the film's signature song
  • Bloopers

College Road Trip sold 439,809 copies in the first week of release pulling in $8,030,648 of additional revenue for the franchise. It has sold a total of 1,004,834 copies since its release and made a total of $18,461,049 in DVD sales.


In May 2008, Disney Press released a book based on the movie[13] written by Alice Alfonsi. The novel has the printed original movie poster as the cover.

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Result
2008 Teen Choice Award "Choice Comedy Movie" Nominated[14]
Golden Icon Awards/28th Golden Icon Awards "Favourite Teen Movie" Nominated
Summer Fort Myers Beach Film Festival "Fav Summer Teen Flick Comedy" Won
2009 Teen Film/TV Series International Awards Best Actress: Lead Role on Comedy Film for Raven-Symoné Won
Best Teen Film of the Year Won
Best Comedy Film of the Year Won


  1. ^ "College Road Trip – PowerGrind". The Wrap. Archived from the original on September 6, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
  2. ^ "Martin Lawrence Will Take a 'College Road Trip'". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  3. ^ "College Road Trip - Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  4. ^ "College Road Trip (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2008-03-07.
  5. ^ "College Road Trip review". 2008-07-20. Archived from the original on 2012-03-30. Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  6. ^ "College Road Trip review". Retrieved 2015-08-11.
  7. ^ Review Archived January 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "College Road Trip (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  9. ^ Top DVD Sales[dead link]
  10. ^ Top DVD Sales: 3 weeks[dead link]
  11. ^ Top Video Rentals[dead link]
  12. ^ Top Video Rentals: 6 weeks[dead link]
  13. ^ College Road Trip - Alice (ADP) Alfonsi Archived July 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ Nominees announced Archived February 5, 2009, at the Wayback Machine (June 17, 2008) Teen Choice Awards. Accessed 2008-11-11.

External linksEdit