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RV • ROBIN WILLIAMS

RV

RV • KRISTIN CHENOWETH

PAUL PRIKAZSKY • LEAD REVIEWER

R

V paints an exact portrait of what you think of when you hear those horrible two letters. Loud and obnoxious. And that’s just what the Munro family’s trip from L.A. to Colorado is like. Bob Munro (Robin Williams) is about to take the family on vacation when his sniveling boss (Tony Hale of TV’s brilliant Arrested Development) forces him into a business meeting. Instead of telling his family the truth, Bob packs them up in a rented RV and drags them along telling them it’s a vacation. Along the way they run into the full-time RV family, the Gornickes. The Gornicke patriarch, Travis (Jeff Daniels) and his wife Marie Jo (Kristin Chenoweth) are the antithesis of the dysfunctional Munro family.

Nevertheless, the Gornickes take a liking to the Munros and decide to follow them wherever they go. Director Barry Sonnenfeld doesn’t make typical movies. He makes three-dimensional fairy-tales. His stunning cinematography and transcendent use of color is more reminiscent of a live action cartoon than a motion picture. If ever an actor was born to be part of a real cartoon, it’s Robin Williams. Williams is the original clown prince — a master of improvisation and the comic form. His witty, rapid-fire banter moves at schizophrenic speed and his stand-up routines are ingenious. Unfortunately playing a brainless, soulless role concocted by the big studios is a defamation of his character.

It’s almost hard to believe RV is relegated to a one-joke wonder with such superb talent. Much like the film, it’s an abysmal attempt at forcing the family together. Think of Williams in the Clark Griswold role that made Chevy Chase a star in the National Lampoon Vacation films. Both patriarchs share the same desperation for family togetherness while still trying to be the hip dad, much to the chagrin of their reluctant families. Cheryl Hines does her best variation of the only character she knows: Cheryl David. She’s that Cheryl David of HBO’s excellent Curb Your Enthusiasm, the wife of neurotic Seinfeld mastermind, Larry David. But it’s getting old. Just like she is. And unless Hines finds the fountain of youth

(or a better plastic surgeon), she needs to find roles that match her comedic shtick. There’s some spark and wit to the dialogue, mostly due to Williams’ virtuoso comedic talents, but everything seems out of place. Daniels is too conservative to play an irritating goof ball. Reversing the Daniels and Williams roles would have made for a far more exciting film. RV has good intentions, but it’s a totally unoriginal family film. Stick Steve Martin in the Williams role and we have Cheaper by the Dozen 3 (God forbid). There’s nothing risquÊ. I know it’s a family flick, but how about a little edgy humor? You know, for the adults? There’s no reason to see RV because we’ve already seen it many times before.

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Buzz Magazine: May 4, 2006  
Buzz Magazine: May 4, 2006  

May 4, 2006

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