The Trip (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Trip (2003)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Stretching from the 1970s to the 1990s, The Trip chronicles the often turbulent romance between two gay men. One night in 1973, teenagers Tommy (Steve Braun) and Alan (Larry Sullivan) meet at an L.A. party. While Tommy is openly gay and organizes for gay civil rights, Alan, an aspiring journalist, is a repressed, button-down member of the Young Republicans who is working on his first book, a thick volume about the evils of homosexuality. On the pretext of interviewing him for his book, Alan invites Tommy to his house for dinner, where the sexual tension between the two is so throbbingly blatant that Alan's girlfriend makes a hasty exit. An intense romance between the two men follows. When we next see them, it's 1976, and Alan's book has been published anonymously and is being used by right-wingers who are supporting Anita Bryant's "Save Our Children" campaign in Florida. Unfortunately, Tommy finds out that Alan wrote the book and leaves him, and subsequently takes up with Peter (Ray Baker) an affluent closet case. It isn't until the '90s that Alan and Tommy meet again, and are confronted by the romance they thought they had long left behind. The Trip was screened at the 2002 Philadelphia International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

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Larry Sullivan
as Alan Oakley
Steve Braun
as Tommy Ballenger
Ray Baker
as Peter Baxter
Dennis Bailey
as Larry Jenkins
Sirena Irwin
as Beverly
Jill St. John
as Mary Oakley
Art Hindle
as Ted Oakley
Julie Brown
as OutLoud Receptionist
David Mixner
as Himself
Cy Carter
as Young Guy
Alfred Dennis
as George Baxter
John Harnagel
as Middle-Aged Man
Doug Lee
as Stoner
Alejandro Patiño
as Gas Station Owner
Geoffrey Rivas
as Police Officer
Al Rondon
as Motel Manager
Faith Salie
as Young Woman
Connie Sawyer
as Barbara Baxter
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Critic Reviews for The Trip

All Critics (31) | Top Critics (16)

Despite its flaws, it eventually gets under your skin and is sweetly moving.

September 25, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

There is absolutely nothing that hasn't been said more compellingly and originally somewhere else, and said often.

September 5, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

The story's third-act detour into tragedy is predictable and unwelcome, providing a resolution that is too pat and familiar to be moving.

September 5, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

By the time it's over you'll be able to fill a bumper sticker with everything you've learned.

August 1, 2003 | Rating: 2/4

The screenplay has huge holes, character motivations are inexplicable, the tone switches from serious to loopy and back to serious, and the editing is choppy and uneven.

July 21, 2003 | Rating: C

The Trip almost dares you not to like it, even when its script heads in all the wrong directions.

July 10, 2003 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Trip

After 2 decades of courting and drama, a young couple goes to Mexico searching for a cure for HIV. Campy as hell and filled with progressive propaganda, the Trip felt short on a good premise.

Sylvester Kuo
Sylvester Kuo

Super Reviewer

A captivating small film dealing with the relationship of two gay men over many years and the surrounding upheaval of the gay movement. Many wonderful supporting performances contribute to the overall goodwill of the film. Sirena Irwin is a sketch as Beverly the trend jumping greek chorus and Jill St. John an absolute scene stealer as Alan's boozy wise mom. The musical score is also loaded with excellent choices which really set the right tone for each scene. It all boils down however to the chemistry and performances of the two lead actors which are strong and makes you really like and root for the characters through their journey.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

"Can you get me your supervisor please, or maybe a human being if you've got one back there?"

Well, that was unexpected. Not only is The Trip good, it's damn good. Ok, so it's yet ANOTHER story where AIDS rears its ugly head to claim the life of an undeserving gay guy, but at least the story here is told with a fair amount of conviction and good intentions. Spanning over a decade, The Trip cleverly uses archive footage from newsreels as well as music and fashions of the period. It's not exactly massively ambitious but looks like it was made for a good deal more money than was actually thrown at it, and the two lead performances are winning. Larry Sullivan is all goofy Jake Gyllenhall-esque with the odd temper tantrum, and is a pretty hot mess, despite some awful haircuts. Steve Braun has less range but makes the most of a slightly underwritten role, and has this Brad Pitt/Nick Stahl mix in him that works well. Both actors also age quite convincingly, which is always a hard trick to pull off. Also impressive is the photography - The Trip is beautifully lit. A couple of the scenes drag and are overplayed (one in which Alan's mum and kooky friend come to pay him a visit is especially cringy), but mostly the balance between drama and comedy is successful, and the final minutes are genuinely touching.

Daniel Parsons
Daniel Parsons

Super Reviewer

The Trip Quotes

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