Australian Council on Children and the Media

R. V.

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Viol.)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for R. V.
  • a review of R. V. completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 11 June 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and risky behaviours. Parents are reminded that children under the age of eight can sometimes be disturbed by comic or slapstick violence.
Children over the age of 8 Should be okay to see this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: R. V.
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Consumer advice lines Mild crude humour, Infrequent mild coarse language
Length 99 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Bob Munro (Robin Williams) and wife Jamie (Cheryl Hines) are a fairly typical, American couple with teenage kids, 15 year old Casey (Joanna ‘Jo-Jo’ Levesque) and 12 year old Carl (Josh Hutchison) and with whom interaction is fairly limited. Bob promises to take his family on a holiday to Hawaii, but has to change plans when he is unable to convince his boss to give him any time off work. As he has to attend a conference in Colorado, he convinces his family that a camping holiday in an RV (recreational vehicle) to Aspen Springs, Colorado would be a lot of fun and would give them some quality time together. The holiday is a disaster from the start, including their attempts to extricate themselves from the Gornickes, an all American, annoyingly wholesome family they have met along the way.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Family relationships and trust

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some slapstick violence in this movie, including:

  • at a party, Casey’s friend throws a drink over Bob’s boss because the firm has a poor environmental record.
  • there are a few scenes of sibling rivalry, which get quite physical at times.
  • some youths attack Carl while he’s playing ball but he isn’t not hurt.
  • Carl throws Bob’s boss over his shoulder in a judo throw.

Parents are reminded that although comic violence may appear benign, and children usually enjoy it, over-exposure to comic violence can lead young children to believe that violence doesn’t really hurt.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned slapstick violence, there are some scenes in this movie that could disturb children under the age of five, including:

  • Bob gets covered in faecal matter from the waste unit
  • The RV takes off with Bob hanging on to the front. It careers through woods, Bob gets thrown off and the vehicle travels over the top of him.
  • The RV rolls into a lake and sinks. Bob goes in to try to prevent it and momentarily disappears under the water.
  • Bob clambers onto the back of a moving RV and climbs onto its roof where he balances precariously.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

There is nothing in this movie that would disturb children over the age of eight.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern.

Product placement

The following products are displayed or used in this movie:

  • Lays chips
  • 7 Up

Sexual references

None

Nudity and sexual activity

None

Use of substances

There is some drinking of alcohol at home and at a party.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including several instances of ‘Oh my God.’

In a nutshell

R. V.: Runaway Vacation is a light-hearted comedy about the tenuous relationship between parents and their teenage children. It is quite a good family film with Robin Williams applying his own brand of comic humour. The take home message is that family is more important than a career and that it is necessary to spend time together and talk to each other. The movie also shows that having fun doesn’t need to cost a lot of money but can come from simple pleasures.

Parents may wish to reinforce with their children the message about the importance of family.

Parents could also take the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as.

  • selfishness
  • deceit
  • irresponsible and reckless behaviour
  • lying
  • unethical corporate behaviour.

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