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Overall Rating

Awesome: 2.22%
Worth A Look: 11.11%
Pretty Bad: 6.67%
Total Crap: 28.89%

5 reviews, 15 user ratings

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by U.J. Lessing

"Not as Good as “National Lampoon’s Vacation” but not as bad as “Captain Ron"
3 stars

It’s another substandard comedy about a family vacation that goes to hell, and then inexplicably rises to cloud nine, thanks to the exhaustive emasculation of the father, but at least this one has a poop geyser. Robin Williams joined the ranks of Chevy Chase, Martin Short, and Cedric the Entertainer when he chose to play the head of a household trying to get everyone to have fun as their vacation crumbles around him. The overused story hangs on the movie like a faded ‘Baby on Board’ sign. Fortunately, some clever sight gags and some really funny and amiable performances keep the movie running at a pleasant 55 miles per hour.

Robin Williams is Bob Munro, a workaholic in the crazy world of advertising. He’s stretched thin. His job is in jeopardy thanks to younger corporate sharks in the waters. His familial ties are also strained, especially his relationship with teenage daughter Cassie (teen idol Joanna Levesque).

When Bob is forced by his slick, misophobic boss to give a presentation in Colorado he cancels their trip to Hawaii, packs the gang in a rented RV, and hits the road to the Rockies. Needless to say, it’s not an uneventful trip.

The gags are fast and funny, but quickly become repetitive. There are only so many ways Robin Williams can hang off a moving RV and only so many times an RV can do damage to the outside world or itself without becoming monotonous.

Visual gags that are more successful rely either on real life situations or surrealism. Bob struggles to put a seatbelt on as it repeatedly locks up short of the latch. On a particularly boring patch of road, each member of Bob’s family dons a portable music player and begins to sing along with their favorite songs. Poor Bob is left with the gobbledygook. Bob in frustration walks into a lake, and comes out… well… that would be telling.

The best gag of the film involves an overflowing septic tank, a ton of yokels and some corrugated tubing. Bob is forced to trust the advice of a couple of idiots to help him drain his septic tank. (While the payoff shot is really funny, I preferred watching Williams holding a Y-shaped tube gently up in the air as sewage slowly seeps towards the opening pointing directly at his head.)

This role isn’t much of a stretch for Robin Williams, but after playing so many off-the-wall characters, it’s understandable that he’d want to play a normal shmoe. Unfortunately, since the character is pretty flat, there’s no room in “RV” for William’s psychotically explosive humor. He spends most of the movie looking tired or bug eyed as the film washes over him.

However, Jeff Daniels as Travis Gornicke grabs the wheel and takes the movie for a fast spin. He plays a practical-minded leader of a family that lives the RV lifestyle. The Gornickes’ payoff is twofold: we relish their folksy creepiness, and we take pleasure in watching the Munros flee them at every chance they get.

Also delightful is Cheryl Hines, as Bob’s wife, Jamie. She’s calm and reserved, yet stunningly uninhibited. She has a lot more fun with her character than Williams does. After listening to her sing along with her radio, I seriously think she needs to release her cover version of Ronny and the Daytona’s ‘G.T.O.’ It’s comic gold.

“RV” isn’t anything new. Films like “The Long, Long Trailer” trailblazed this territory long ago. It isn’t a groundbreaking comedy, but it is light, silly and family-friendly. Just make sure your family, like mine, takes pleasure watching others getting covered in liquid excrement.

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originally posted: 04/28/06 13:48:03
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User Comments

5/22/09 Jeff Wilder All the funny scenes were in the trailer and the story itself has been done to death. 2 stars
1/15/09 Anonymous. some parts were funny, most was not. 2 stars
1/10/08 Matt Williams can do much better than this moderately funny thiing. Feces is NOT funny! 3 stars
7/27/07 ashley pickhover is David Coulier in this movie? 4 stars
4/02/07 brent gerald mejia sr. Not great but totally amusing. 4 stars
3/03/07 David Pollastrini Not great not terrible 3 stars
1/10/07 emma i would watch the movie over again 5 stars
12/07/06 action movie fan dumb not funny characters are straight out of cartoons--not realistic-a yawn 2 stars
9/22/06 Anthony Feor It aint a Vacation, if you know what i mean 3 stars
8/13/06 Zaw not too bad of a movie. 3 stars
6/16/06 Ole Man Bourbon Robin Williams saves a totally blah movie from total crappitude. 3 stars
6/02/06 LC We had fun at this movie. Kids loved it! 4 stars
5/22/06 Bonnie Baker Recommend if u want laughs a minute!!!!! 4 stars
5/01/06 Bob R It's Alberta, and a few good laughs for all of us. 4 stars
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  28-Apr-2006 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Aug-2006

  09-Jun-2006 (PG)

  N/A (PG)
  DVD: 08-Nov-2006

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