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Review #111 of 365
Film: R.V. [PG] 98 minutes
WIP™ Scale: $9.50
Where Viewed: Harkins Northfield 18, Denver, CO
When 1st Seen: 2 May 2006
Time: 2:50 p.m.
Review Dedicated to: Jake H. of Bismarck, ND


A few notches below a full-fledged Robin Williams Live concert in freneticism, and a about a 100 cranks of the laugh meter above One Hour Photo—wait, that was a Robin Williams drama, oh yea, 100 cranks above Insomnia—whoops, another drama. Let’s just say this was a Robin Williams comedy. Hmm…

“The R.V. Set Sale”
-- a short poem inspired by the film --

Just sit right back in your high-banked, theater rocking seat,
And a tale of woe you’ll see,
The Munro family took a trip,
Aboard this gargantuan R.V.

The mate was a teenage weight-lifting kid,
The skipper not so hip.
Four passengers bound for Colorado that day,
On a three-day bus trip, a three-day bus trip.

The tempers started getting riled,
The giant R.V. buried in the sand,
Were it not for the sense of humor of the Munro crew,
The R.V. would be canned, Bob Munro would be canned.

The R.V. ran aground on shore this uncharted RV Park,
With Karl Munro,
The Father Bob, too,
A Homeschooling guy from Stanford U. and his wife,
The daughter, Cassie, And The Rest,
Here on Wacky Williams’s Isle.

Well, it was worth a try? My apologies to Bowling for Soup. I also apologize if this does not make you want to rush to see this film.

Ok, so Bob Munro (Robin Williams) is the brilliant marketing director for a not-so-nice company with a not-so-nice germaphobic president named Todd Mallory (Will Arnett). Mr. Mallory declares that Bob must cancel his family’s long-planned vacation to Hawai’i so that Bob can make a presentation to the co-presidents of a natural soft drink company in Boulder, CO. Seeing that his no-teenage kids, Carl (Josh "Zathura" Hutcherson) and Cassie (Joanna ‘JoJo’ “Aquamarine” Levesque), and he are growing apart from him as his wife, and realizing he wishes to keep their lifestyle as present value, he creates an elaborate plan to bait and switch vacations on them—surfing in Maui for a cross-country journey in a giant green and orange recreational vehicle (R.V.). Needless to say, no one is happy with the deal and his wife,

"...funny...family comedy that pleases more than it offends."
Jamie (Cheryl Hines) only agrees to go along because he promises to cook dinner every day. Every possible mishap that one could imagine for a family used to day spas and instant messaging each other when dinner is ready happens within the first 20 minutes of their trip. But, Bob Munro will not give in. In fact, nothing will deter him from reliving a favorite childhood memory of seeing a special lake in the mountains of Colorado. Along the way, the Munro family meets the Gornicke family—a family that has cut their ties to the material world and lives in their traveling bus, home-schooling the kids, and earning a living by selling products (specialized car horn sounds) on-line. The patriarch, Travis (Jeff Daniels with a fabulous moustache), has a penchant for neck-cracking bear hugs and banjos, his wife, Marie Jo (Kristin Chenoweth) believes in the good of all people, and their children: Earl (Hunter Parrish), Moon (Chloe “daughter of director Barry” Sonnenfeld), and Billy (Alex Ferris) have been raised in a bubble protected from the commercial world outside—they are, in the minds of the Munro’s completely out of touch with reality and virtually the opposite of the people with whom they would want to be spending their vacation.

There is so much good to be learned from this film: the importance of family as it has evolved in today’s times, the value of transferring tradition to the next generation, learning to build trust and bonds with other people, and avoiding passing judgment on others too quickly. Robin Williams plays an amalgam of bunch of his previous roles including the genie from Aladdin, a little of Patch Adams, some Mork, some Andrew Martin in Bicentennial Man. He is touching, funny, and mostly insightful. He takes his lumps, yet he never gives up. The cast does a great job, in general, of taking what could have been cardboard characters and giving each one a set of vulnerabilities and strengths. This makes for a deeper movie when you look beyond the surface shtick. There is also demonstrable growth in the characters as their story rolls on. Some of the routines and gags are too much. One of the gross out parts involving the backed up sewer system was way over the top. Occasionally, director Barry (Men in Black II) Sonnenfeld focuses too much on minutia of the story such as a entire side-story of Bob being worried about losing his job to a new and younger member of marketing team named Laird. These things kind of throw off the pace of the film a bit and distract from the central story in unnecessary ways. Overall, R.V. is a very funny, relatively clean, medium-high concept family comedy that pleases more than it offends.

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RV [DVD](2006) DVD
RV [Blu-ray](2006)
RV (Widescreen Version) [DVD](2006) DVD

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Movies Starring: Robin WilliamsCheryl HinesJoanna 'JoJo' Levesque
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1 comment:

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