RV

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RV Cover Wikipedia defines an RV as "A recreational vehicle which normally includes a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a living area. In other countries the terms caravan, camper van, or motor-home, are more commonplace". Personally though, I would define it as a film Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld; and Starring: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Jojo, and Jeff Daniels. It was made in 2006 and lasts for 99 minutes.


RV


THE STORY:
I am afraid to say that corporate lackey, Bob Munro (Robin Williams), has a very perculiar problem to deal with. Well, on the one hand, he has to satisfy his boss, Todd (Will Arnett), by providing and attending a written presentation for the ‘Alpine Soda' company, based in Boulder, Colorado. Whilst, on the other hand, his family wants to go on a holiday to Hawaii.

So what is Bob supposed going to do about all this, huh? Simple really - compromise and lie - that's what.

You see, due to an idea posed to him by a work college of his, Bob hires an RV and then takes his family on a trip to Colorado, instead of Hawaii. Plus, at the same time, Bob also pretends to his boss, Todd, that he is sick whilst secretly writing a report for him.

Great idea, right? Err. No. Because during there travels, the Munro's R.V becomes temperamental, Bob's family get on each other nerves, and worst of all, they meet the Gornickes.

Now please don't you worry. This isn't the name of an illness. But rather it is a family of R.V. enthusiasts, comprising of Travis and Mary Jo Gornicke (Jeff Daniels and Kristin Chenoweth), plus their children as well.

OK, I know what you are wondering to yourself, 'whats the problem with the Gornickes'?  Correct? Well, apart from them being overtly friendly, Bob’s son, Carl (Josh Hucherson) takes a fancy to Travis’s daughter, Moon (Chloe Sonnernfeld), whist Travis’s son, Earl (Hunter Parrish) takes a fancy to Bob’s daughter, Cassie (JoJo).

Still, this dilemma doesn't seem to go anywhere really. Unlike the Munro’s. Whom hightail it away from them at any given chance, colliding with numerous obstacles along the way. Moreover, to make matter even more pleasing to Bob, he even manages to finish his work for Todd, and is able to get away from his family so he can present his gala presentation to 'Alpine Soda's'.

However, Bob's merriment does not last for too long all in all. By happenstance and by chance, the cat is let out of the proverbial bag, and Bob's kin discover the real reason for this R.V. excursion. Also, he has to attend yet another presentation because his last one did so well.

Damn! I suppose that is why what next transpires is a strangely alternate bonding moment, huh? As RV's sink - family's think - the Gornickes come to the rescue - and a resolution is gratifyingly eskew.




THE REVIEW:
Now before I drive this 'family movie' into the ground, lets have some filmic facts first: (1) Jeff Daniels wrote and composed the "Recreational Vehicle" song for his charity album "Jeff Daniels Live and Unplugged". Plus he also plays his own Banjo too. (2) Jo Jo is in fact French, Irish, American Indian and Polish, plus turned down the leading role in 'Hanna Montana'. (3) Carly Schroeder was originally cast as Cassie Munro. But due to a scheduling conflict with her program 'Firewall', she had to drop out of the major role, allowing JoJo to take her place. (4) During an early career interview, Robin Williams told a reporter that he was born in Scotland. (5) Jeff is a real life R.V. enthusiast. (6) Kristin Chenoweth has been trained to singing opera, and has ongoing performances with many symphonic orchestras. (7) The letters 'OPE' and 'POE', which can be seen on the bathroom wall, is in reference to the film 'Dr Strangelove' [click here for review]. (8) The picture of the salesman, Irv, which is plastered on the side of the RV, is in fact, director, Barry Sonnenfeld. (9) Cheryl Hines was the former personal assistant to comedian, Rob Reiner. And (10) The three Gornicke children were named after former NFL players from the Houston Oilers: Earl Campbell, Warren Moon, and Billy Johnson.


Smashing Tits in RV


OK, so now that my breaks have been well oiled, 'RV', is it any good? Err - this is ‘family movie’ - and as such, I am afraid to say that it does not really break any ground-shattering conventions, or test the depth of the human condition. Still, I suppose that it doesn't have to, right? All it has to do is entertain, amuse, and act as a stop gap between this movie and the next one.

Ouch! Was that a tad too harsh? Probably. Just like the type of characters depicted in this film. You see, conceptually, all the characters on display are of the one note variety. For example, poor old Bob is the abused and struggling husband. His family are a bunch of spoilt suburban house-brats. And the Gornickes are such a sweet and wholesome family, that you might want to puke.

Again, characters which are provided to entertain, amuse, and acts as a stop gap between this movie and the next one.


JoJo in RV


However, on the opposing side of this argument, I have to admit, that director, Barry Sonnenfeld, does add a a little heart to 'RV' where a 'message movie' is concerned. Conceptually, this message is a simple one overall – “family before money” – and it accomplishes to convey this statement in a very straight forward manner.

At the beginning of the film, the Monroe’s are a family divided in age and need. During the second quarter of the film, the Monroe’s act rather sardonic and catty, judging other people from their rather pompous vantage point. During the third quarter of the film, the Munroe’s have a bonding moment, and are able to see the beauty in each other. And finally, during the last quarter of the film... errr... I am sure that can you guess the rest by now?


Robin deals with crap in RV


Well, as I said, this film doesn't break any ground-shattering conventions, or test the depth of the human condition. Instead, its spins us a message – one I hope that people will learn to live by. Correct, gang?




Nice film – good performances – lovely message.

THE RATING: B-