College Road Trip

Director:

R. Kumble

Producer:

A. Gunn

Year:

2008

Distributor:

Walt Disney Pictures

Country:

USA

Running time:

83 min

Genre:

Comedy

Format:

Colour

Availability:

DVD

Keywords:

Georgetown University, Father Daughter Relationship, Northwestern University, Helicopter parents, campus tour
Summary
Melanie Porter wants to attend Georgetown University, but her father, James, who is a police chief, wants his princess to stay at home and attend Northwestern University, which is just around the corner from their home. When they embark on a road trip to tour both campuses, Dad tries all kinds of stunts and antics to change Melanie's mind — which all backfire, of course. Meanwhile, they meet an eclectic assortment of other campus tourists, including a suspiciously happy father-daughter duo, and Tracy, a nice young college-bound man whose friendship with Melanie sends Dad into paroxysms of anxiety. But not to worry — everything is worked out in time for the Porter's Thanksgiving dinner.
Teaching Notes
Socio-cultural portrayal of higher education
These sentimental comedies reinforce two cultural myths: college as a symbol of upward social mobility; and, middle American family values. They also reflect the more recent phenomenon of helicopter parenting. Until quire recently, leaving home for college was often part of America's frontier myth — that of a second-generation American male's rite of passage into adulthood — as he leaves the family homestead for college, and potential elevation to Jefferson's natural aristocracy. However, the past two decades have seen a perpetuation of adolescence both in popular culture and in parenting behaviour, where even the paternalistic in loco parentis policies characteristic of American colleges in the mid-to-late 20th century have been displaced by parents who continue to keep their kids in tow on college campuses.
film poster
Helicopter parent with university-aged child