Watching Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Boat Trip must be what it would be like to see someone set himself on fire — a grotesque, sad experience. Either trying to keep pictures of illegal acts from surfacing and/or hell-bent on running his career into the ground, the Oscar winner hits a frightening new low in one of the most astonishingly bad comedies ever made.

His Jerry and Horatio Sanz’s Nick are two idiot, homophobic friends looking for sex on the seas who are dismayed to find themselves on an all-gay cruise. (The film’s sole chuckle comes from Will Ferrell as the travel agent who tricks them, proving Ferrell’s superhero powers to salvage laughter even in a movie like this.)

The less said about this movie’s ridiculous plot, the better, as it piles up like a 30-car wreck to include a skydiving finale and the inevitable interrupted wedding. The stupidity on display in all its characters is mind-boggling and the film’s vision of gay life — they all make out 24-7, enjoy S&M and eat penis-shaped food, right? — is downright atrocious.

And Lin Shaye, so funny in the Farrelly Brothers’ Kingpin and There’s Something About Mary is here subjected to two astoundingly tasteless oral sex gags that should get director / co-writer Mort Nathan strung up for crimes against humanity.

No one comes off worse, though, than Gooding, Jr., whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences could sue for defamation had the movie’s advertisements put “Academy Award winner” before his name. 

With his smug smile, the scariest part is that the actor looks as though he thought something like this was a good career move. He over-mugs and overacts, but the “over” he should worry about is what his career might — and in a perfect world should — be.