World Traveler (2001) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

World Traveler is a road picture, I guess, and you will have some trouble making it through this one.

It was meant to be a tear-jerker for guys. That's a difficult type of film to manage successfully. Men do rate it fairly high at IMDb (6.4 - about two and a half stars), and its guy-flick status is confirmed by the fact that women rate it 1.3 points lower (a difference of 1 point indicates extreme gender preference), but male reviewers generally disliked it, and so did I.

Billy Crudup plays a successful Manhattan architect who pulls a Rabbit Angstrom and just walks out of his life one day.  He gets in his Volvo station wagon and looks for ...

Well, that's the problem. He doesn't really know what he's looking for, and neither do we. He's dissatisfied with his life, but his life seems pretty damned satisfactory to us, and his sense of displacement is vague and unarticulated. He drives around for a couple of days and has sex with Karen Allen. Then he makes friends with a construction worker who is a reformed alcoholic, but then he gets the guy drunk and makes a pass at his wife.

Then Crudup meets a high school classmate who despises him. That kind of stuff.


Mary McCormack shows her butt in a brief an dark undressing scene

He seems to cause a lot of sadness and pain, and to have a lot inflicted upon him. 

He resolves to do something good for someone as kind of an atonement plan, so he offers a ride to a woman who is trying to meet with her young son. It turns out that the woman is crazy and the son is imaginary, so Crudup leaves her stranded at a Dairy Queen somewhere in the remote Northwest. So much for that good deed.

He finally ends up visiting his own estranged father, who walked out on him and his mother 22 years earlier. Since Crudup has just walked out on his own wife and son, doing the same thing that caused him to hate his own father, he thinks that he should try to understand himself better by understanding his father better.

DVD info from Amazon

  • Widescreen anamorphic 1.85:1. Good transfer.

  • full-length commentary

  • one deleted scenes

The movie is slow, rambling and unfocused, but those aren't the deal breakers. There are enough positives to overcome those liabilities, like a sad Willie Nelson score, and a strange, luminous performance from Julianne Moore as the crazy woman. The real flaw in the film is that the Billy Crudup character is self-centered and completely unlikable, but  he's the protagonist, we view events through his eyes, and he's on screen almost 100% of the time. Therefore, there is no character for the audience to identify with, and watching Crudup have some adventures is a real chore.

The Critics Vote

  • General USA consensus: fewer than two stars. Ebert 2/4, Berardinelli 1.5/4, Entertainment Weekly C.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.9/10: men 6.4, women 5.1
  • The box office was virtually nil - about $100,000. The film never reached as many as 20 screens.


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, this film is a D+. It isn't a complete waste of time, but I don't recommend it. Overall, it misses the mark. No character to identify with, and quite boring.

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