RV (2006)_____7/10
Good clean fun in the Rockies

Directed by Barry Sonnenberg

Selected Cast
Robin Williams :                      Bob Munro
Cheryl Hines :                         Jamie Munro
Joanna 'JoJo' Levesque:           Cassie Munro
Jeff Daniels:                           Travis Gornicke
Kristin Chenoweth:                 Mary Jo Gornicke

Sure, the prototype vacation movie has been filmed hundreds of times, and this one has all the standard elements: the upper-middle class family with the teenage boy and girl, a smart mom with a funloving streak, and a father trying to keep the family together and the love flowing. 

Throw in a road trip, comically hook the Munro family up with another family’s misadventures, and point them at the Rockies or to Wally World or to Uncle Buck’s cabin.  Then watch them all have fun, live, and grow.  It’s been done before, but it’s still a good formula.

Bob Munro, working for a company that does mergers, has a soulful sales approach has kept him successful and on the good side of an obnoxious boss.  He’s committed to taking his family to Hawaii, but has a last minute emergency requires he give a presentation in Colorado.

Hiding his task from the wife and kids he rents a garish recreational vehicle (RV) and convinces everyone the Rockies is the place to be.  Implausible, yes.  But the vehicle serves as a vehicle for personal development for all the characters.  They set off with father Bob first doing a long, riotous turnabout in front of their Valley home.

The lines in this movie are sharp, delivered quickly.  Many are easy to miss.

Daughter Cassie, finding out the RV makes only four miles per gallon, says, “Gee, why don’t we just stay home and set fire to an oil field.” 

The undersized boy, Carl, upon learning they’re not going to Hawaii with a weight room, offers, “Doesn’t anyone respect my lifting schedule?”

Mrs. Munro: “We’re not campers, we don’t camp.”

Bob: “Before we embark I think we should give this baby a name.”

Cassie: “The big turd.”

Carl: “The big rolling turd.”

Which is how they affectionately refer to the RV thereafter. Soon they’re on the road and the RV stereotypes emerge, starting with Bob’s attempt to drain the waste tank.  Here he runs into Travis Gornicke (Jeff Daniels), who saves him from disaster after Carl gets doused in liquid crap with the whole camp spread out in chaise lounges watching his troubles like a NASCAR race.

The Gornickes are big hearted hicks who the Munros keep trying to ditch.  The Munros keep trying to prove themselves under trying circumstances, while Dad secretly works on a presentation for his boss.

After many twists and turns of plot, most quite hilarious, and several well-played physical gags—I especially like the image of the RV barreling down the highway with a gas nozzle and line flopping around from the tank—the Munros wind up in an RV park in Colorado near where Carl needs to give his pitch to the client.

He’s successful in an unexpected way.

Each family comes together, then they befriend each other.  The moral of the story is be true to yourself and nice to others, then the world will land at your fingertips.  Pure corn pone, but a worthy effort, especially some really fine solos from Robin Williams and Jeff Daniels, with funny supporting work from the lesser-known actors.

It will never be Vacation, but it has nearly as many memorable scenes.  Good job; will definitely look forward to again.


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