Rv

on April 28, 2006 by Matt Caracappa
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Robin Williams and company get more mileage than one might expect out of the family comedy "RV." Williams plays Bob Munro, who finds that his family -- including wife Jamie (deliciously played by "Curb Your Enthusiasm's" Cheryl Hines), angst-ridden daughter Cassie ("Aquamarine's" Jojo) and wannabe bodybuilder son Carl ("Zathura's" Josh Hutcherson) -- has drifted apart in this cold, digital age of communication via instant messaging, cell phones and e-mail. Bob decides to alter their planned vacation to Hawaii for something a little more conducive to real bonding: a cross-country trip in a monstrous lime-green recreational vehicle.

What the rest of family doesn't know is that the whole trip is an excuse for Bob to save his job by driving to the site of a big company pitch meeting. Despite that one little hypocrisy, Bob truly pines for some family get-togetherness, thwarted first by his family's overt displeasure with replacing Hawaii with a big, obnoxious motor-home, and second by the Gornickes, a gritty, goofy family that lives in their RV all year round. Williams and Hines play it mostly straight, allowing the Gornickes (led by Jeff Daniels and Kristin Chenoweth) to grab most of the outrageous laughs as they constantly try to buddy up with them.

"RV" has some pacing issues and a few jokes with punchlines telegraphed weeks ago, but the strength of the performances and a troop of likable characters transform it from a film you merely wouldn't regret watching to one you'll actually enjoy. With sight gags for the kids (Williams covered in the vehicle's septic sewage) and jokes for the adults (trying to catch a Wi-Fi connection in the middle of the desert), "RV" is a textbook example of family entertainment. Ninety-nine percent of the time, it's a film everyone can see without feeling like they're doing someone else in the family a favor. Starring Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth, Jojo and Josh Hutcherson. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Written by Geoff Rodkey. Produced by Bobby Cohen and Lucy Fisher. A Columbia release. Comedy. Rated PG for crude humor and language. Running time: 98 min

Tags: Starring Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth, Jojo and Josh Hutcherson. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. Written by Geoff Rodkey, Produced by Bobby Cohen, Lucy Fisher, Columbia, Comedy
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