The family road trip: What better way to bring the entire family together so that they might realize that all the problems they have at home are in fact infinitely worse when confined to a small space and bereft of the comforts of home? In Barry Sonnenfeld's RV, Robin Williams plays Bob Munro, an overworked-but-loving dad whose corporate job with an extreme soda company is looking a little perilous. A potential merger requires Bob's presence at a meeting in Colorado … during a period of time that's already been staked out for Bob to take his wife Jamie (Cheryl Hines), daughter Cassie (Joanna Levesque) and son Carl (Josh Hutcheson) to Hawaii. Bob's boss Todd tells him to be there or his career's pretty much over, so Bob does what any lead character in a so-so comedy would do to kickstart the plot: He lies, telling his family that instead of Hawaii, they're all going to be together and close on a trip to the beautiful spaces near Colorado in the leviathan recreational vehicle he's rented for them.
RV is a modern big-studio comedy, so the question is not if there are poop jokes in the film (which there are), but rather if the poop jokes are semi-tasteful and even vaguely artfully constructed (which they are). Sonnenfeld's been busy as of late directing big-budget, large-scale, special-effects laden films like the Men in Black movies and Wild Wild West that it's almost a pleasure simply to see him working on a slightly more human scale. It's not that there aren't special effects in RV -- there are, from stunts to CG-green screen work to make the world whizzing by the RV look so real. But by and large, this is a little film -- small scale, by the bloated and grotesque standards we've come to expect from big Hollywood's comedies as of late. And that may be part of what gives it the small appeal it has.