out of Five
Running time: 98
A lot better than it has any right to be, thanks to a half-decent script, Sonnenfeld's direction, strong comic support and a surprisingly good performance from Williams.
What's it all about?
Robin Williams stars as Bob Munro, a businessman who's worried about losing his job. In order to impress his nightmare boss (Arrested Development's Will Arnett), he cancels the family holiday in Hawaii and bundles his family into a rented mobile home (or RV, for Recreational Vehicle), telling them he's planned a surprise road trip to Colorado, when in fact, he has an important business meeting to attend there.
If the words Robin Williams family comedy
strike terror into your heart, then you may be pleasantly surprised by RV, because for once he's not playing a blubbering man-child. Instead he reins in his usual manic behaviour and when it does occasionally emerge, it's treated as embarrassing for all concerned.
Williams is also aided by a strong supporting cast. Cheryl Hines (from Curb Your Enthusiasm) is good value as Mrs Monro, while rising stars Josh Hutcherson and JoJo The New Lindsay Lohan
Levesque are both superb as his bickering kids. However, the supporting honours are comprehensively stolen by Jeff Daniels, who gets the biggest laughs of the film as the head of the all-singing, RV-dwelling Gornicke family.
Several of the jokes fall horribly flat and there's an over-reliance on gags involving Bob getting covered in unpleasant substances, but for the most part this is surprisingly funny. In addition, Sonnenfeld resists the urge to ladle on the sugar at the end, so the climax isn't the sentimental cringe-fest you're expecting.
In short, as Robin Williams family comedies go, this is entirely watchable and genuinely funny in places. Worth seeing.