|Road Trip is a 2000 American road-comedy film written by Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong and directed by Todd Phillips.|
The film is told as a series of flashback events narrated by Barry, as he leads a group of visitors around his college campus.
Josh and Tiffany are childhood friends who became high school sweethearts, but had to face a long distance relationship when Josh enrolls at University of Ithaca and Tiffany enrolls at the University of Austin. Despite the distance apart, they make a promise to be true to each other and call each other every day. Eventually, when Tiffany doesn’t call Josh for a few days, nor answer his calls to her, Josh is worried that Tiffany is seeing another man (when in fact her maternal grandfather died). To show that he is still in love with her, he makes a daily recorded video blog to her. During Josh’s last blog, his friends Rubin Carver and Barry Manilow barge into the video. Barry then keeps checking on Rubin’s snake, Mitch, urging Rubin to over-feed Mitch. Josh asks Rubin to mail his blog tape to Tiffany before leaving for class.
In class, Josh is almost flunking Ancient Philosophy and needs a B+ on his mid-term to pass the semester. Josh thinks that he will flunk anyway. Still worrying about Tiffany, Josh’s friend E.L. encourages Josh to move on to another woman, such as Josh’s friend Beth, who has a great attraction for Josh, at a forthcoming dorm party. Jacob, the teacher’s aid, has a huge crush on Beth and she knows that Josh is obsessed with her. Unbeknownst to Josh, he is being set up by Jacob to fail Ancient Philosophy.
During E.L.’s party, Josh attends and E.L. holds an auction of several women, including Beth. Jacob also attends the party, and Beth, afraid of Jacob, convinces Josh to outbid Jacob. E.L. helps Josh win the bid at $26 when Jacob bid $30. E.L. tells Jacob he’s a teacher’s aid, his bid didn’t count, and tosses him out. Beth wants to ‘repay’ Josh for saving her, so they retire to Josh’s room, and Beth decides to record their sexual liaison with the same camcorder that Josh uses for his video blogs to Tiffany.
The next day, Barry sings a song called “Tiny Salmon” as Josh arrives in the room in a very jolly mood. He confesses that he had sex with Beth. His friends belittle him and want proof. The video tape is played but Josh discovers that Rubin accidentally mailed the sex tape to Tiffany. Josh then receives a voicemail from Tiffany saying that she didn’t call him because her grandfather had died and she will be away from school until Monday. Josh decides to attempt to retrieve the sex tape before Tiffany sees it. Because he doesn’t have enough money for plane fare, he’ll have to drive to Austin. So Josh and E.L. get Kyle to come along for use of his car. Kyle is a compulsive worrier who lives in constant fear of his overly strict father, Earl Edwards, and the car is actually Earls. Josh, E.L., Rubin, and Kyle head out to drive the 1,800 miles to Texas in three days and leave Barry to take care of Mitch.
While Barry is taking care of Mitch, Beth asks him where Josh is. Barry tells her that Josh went to see Tiffany in Boston, in confusion with Austin. Beth, distressed, is then shown in the girls’ shower room lamenting her situation to her friends, who offer advice, suggesting she go to Boston to tell Tiffany about the situation, which Beth does. However, the Tiffany she confronts in Boston is the wrong one, and causes great distress for that Tiffany’s innocent boyfriend.
While on the road, the guys talk about ‘loop holes’ and cheating. Taking a supposed ‘short-cut’, they come upon a small collapsed bridge and are frustrated that they will waste 5 hours back tracking. E.L. and Rubin convince the other two that they could jump the gap, ala Evel Knievel. Kyle objects but they proceed. They make it across, but car is effectively destroyed upon landing when the wheels fall off. They get out and discuss what to do next, and the car explodes. So, they continue on foot and stop at a motel. Rubin tries to score marijuana off the whacky, acerbic motel clerk and is informed that Kyle’s credit card is maxed out.
E.L. looks for transportation, and talks an otherwise rather savvy blind woman, Brenda, who works for a local school for the blind, into letting him take a bus away to be repaired. The guys hit the road again.
Meanwhile, Kyle’s father, Earl, tries to pay for a meal with the maxed out card, but is denied service. He then begins an all-out search for Kyle when he is informed by the police that Kyle’s car was found blown up and Kyle is missing. On their way to Austin, the group goes through a series of misadventures, such as two of them making deposits at a sperm bank to raise needed funds, Rubin successfully bluffing his way into letting the group stay overnight at an all-Black fraternity house at the University of Tennessee, and a riotous visit with Barry’s grandparents. Since Josh’s books were destroyed in the exploded car, he calls his professor to ask for an extension on his midterm exam. Jacob answers the phone, pretends to be the professor, and grants a worthless extension.
The group finally gets to Austin and, once they get to Tiffany’s dorm, Josh eventually intercepts the tape he sent to Tiffany, who has just arrived back at school. But Earl shows up, enraged over what happened with the car and the credit card and threatens to drag Kyle back home with him. Kyle finally summons the courage to stand up to him and states that he is going back to school with his friends. Earl attacks him and confusion reigns in an all-out mini-riot in the dorm’s lobby. Josh and Tiffany retreat and discuss their relationship, but Beth calls to warn Josh that he has been duped by Jacob, and while Josh talks to her, Tiffanny starts to watch the tape, which turns out to be nothing but Barry mooning for the camera. Josh now has 48 hours to get back to school or else he will fail his midterm and the course, and, possibly, be kicked out of college. After they talk, Josh and Tiffany agree to break up and remain friends. Josh and his buddies head back to school and Josh arrives just in time to take his midterm – with a little, albeit illegal, help from Beth.
Barry closes the film, ending the visitors tour by confirming to them that Josh passed the course, that Josh & Beth are still together, a happy couple still making videos, that Jacob eventually became a leader of a cult and committed suicide, that Rubin became a fantastic marijuana cultivator, and lastly relates humorous facts about E.L.’s and Kyle’s situations.