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robin-williams-rvWhat do the letters RV stand for? Most commonly they mean Recreational Vehicle, those gas-guzzling behemoths of the road that have come to represent the American Dream on wheels. In the case of the new Robin Williams movie, however, those letters could stand for Ridiculously Vacuous or maybe Really Vapid.

Robin Williams plays Bob Munro a mid-level executive with a psychotic boss. On the eve of a family vacation to Hawaii Bob is told by his boss that instead of taking time with his family he’ll have to report to Colorado for an important meeting. Torn between disappointing his family or getting fired, Bob tries to have it both ways. Rather than tell his family the truth he convinces them to take an RV “family” vacation to the Colorado Rockies—without telling them about the meeting.

Good comic premise, ripe with possibilities but instead we are treated to National Lampoon Vacation-Lite—twice the sweet stuff and only half the laughs. Like Chevy Chase in the National Lampoon series we are laughing at Robin Williams, not with him. The difference is Chase welcomed the laughs by arrogantly doing incredibly stupid things while Williams tries to be lovable as he bumbles his way through his vacation. He seems to be so desperate for approval that laughing at him just seems cruel.

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