The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
The problem with traveling in a recreational vehicle, Jamie Munro tells her husband, is that you have to spend the night in an RV park with other RV people. "Remember," she tells him, "we're not friendly." The Munro family is not even very friendly with one another. As Bob Munro tells his wife, "We watch TV in four separate rooms and I.M. each other when it's time to eat dinner" Yet here they are in a gigantic rented RV, traveling cross-country to Colorado and calling it a vacation.
It's almost a genre, the cross-country family vacation movie. In fact, it is a genre. Yellowstone is almost always involved, or at least mentioned. There is trouble with unfriendly animals, reckless driving and sewage disposal. The genre usually stars Chevy Chase, but this time it's Robin Williams as pop Munro, Cheryl Hines as his wife, and Joanna "JoJo" Levesque and Josh Hutcherson as their kids, Cassie and Carl. The boy is young enough to still be nice, but Cassie has arrived at that age when parents were put on this earth merely as an inconvenience for her.
Bob had originally thought to take the family to Hawaii, but then his obnoxious boss Todd (Will Arnett) ordered him to make a presentation in Boulder, Colo. Afraid to confess the business purpose of his trip, Bob simply rents the giant RV and announces that they'll go camping instead. "But we aren't a camping family," Jamie says. That becomes clear the moment Bob has to perform that least pleasant of RV tasks, emptying the sewage. In real life this job can theoretically be performed with a minimum of difficulty, but in the movies it always results in the hero being covered by a disgusting substance that oddly never seems to involve toilet paper.
On their first night away, the Munros meet the friendly Gornicke family -- Travis and Mary Jo (Jeff Daniels and Kristin Chenoweth) and their kids Earl, Moon and Billy (Hunter Parrish, Chloe Sonnenfeld and Alex Ferris). The Gornickes are mighty friendly. They do country songs as a family. She sells franchise goods from the mobile home. They are masters of sewage, RV lore, route directions and poking their noses into the business of the Munros, who, as we recall, are not friendly people.