Some movies you can’t wait to see. You have so many expectations it’s practically impossible for the movie to stack up. “RV” was not one of these movies for me. I had seen its previews and was not impressed. “RV” was not a movie I anxiously awaited. Therefore, I had very little expectations. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much. It was actually pretty good.

“RV” is the story of a family man trying to reconnect with his kids and jumpstart his life. Robin Williams stars as the Clark Griswald rip-off, Bob Munro. He’s overworked and under-appreciated. A younger, faster and cheaper work force is threatening his job. Bob’s tool of a boss (“Arrested Development’s” Will Arnett) hangs this over his head every chance he gets.

In order to save his job, Bob reluctantly trades a family vacation to Hawaii for a cross-country trip to Colorado. And of course, hilarity ensues.

Robin Williams down plays his usual manic shenanigans and gives a semi-subtle performance. He has a tendency to be overly sentimental in family pictures. “RV” is no different. The feelgoods are painted on awfully thick. I don’t know why movies like this do that. It ends up presenting ridiculous dialogue that’s nothing like real life and causes even the Hallmark people to groan.

Completing the family is Cheryl Hines as Bob’s wife. You may recognize her from “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” Larry David’s awesome series, (seeing as she’s playing the exact same role here). The rest of the family is pretty cookie-cutter: Jo-Jo plays the daughter (a Lindsay Lohan type) and Josh Hutcherson plays the son (a thug wannabe).

The true comedy comes from the Gornickes, a fellow RV’in family. Jeff Daniels leads this yodeling brood. His co-captain is “The West Wing’s” Kristin Chenoweth. Along with their children, the Gornickes represent what a weird and wonderful thing family can be. To the outsider, they look absolutely crazy. However, once you get to know them — you see how sweet, honest and genuine they are. You can’t help but lovin’em. Did I mention they yodel?

The mind behind “RV” is Barry Sonnenfeld. To me, his films are hit and miss. He’s got stellar classics like “Addams Family,” “Get Shorty” and “Men in Black.” He’s also done poorly like with “Wild Wild West” and “Big Trouble.” “RV,” I would say straddles the fence but leans to the good stuff.

All in all, “RV” is as predictable as any comedy. But along the way are some nice moments and some good laughs. Is this Williams’ best? Not by a long shot, but it’s still a pretty good time.

Parents: This is a family-friendly film = clear skies.

Rating: If movies were famous Garys, “RV” would be Garry Shandling.

E-mail Patrick Vincent at

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