Hollywood has always had a quirky yet often hard-hitting way of dealing with everyday life and situations, and what could be more relevant to millions upon millions of people around the world than the prospect of a fun-filled family holiday?
But this is Hollywood, darling, and things don’t always pan out with the smooth-sailing simplicity that would be becoming of everyday folk like you and me..!
It’s all about the anticipation
Most movies with a fun-filled holiday on the cards will begin with excitement and anticipation. The kids involved simply can’t wait to get on the road or in the air and delve into the adventures that all trips away entail. Yet you can bet your bottom dollar that those Hollywood scriptwriters have got some hair-raising happenings on the horizon for our hapless heroes as they venture out on their vacation! Or get left behind, in the case of Kevin McCallister.
There will likely be some event or other that inspired thoughts of a holiday in the first place, perhaps there is a specific task to be adhered to or the family has forgotten its roots through the travails of everyday life, and is in urgent need of repair to roll back the good times. Mishaps along the way are a foregone guarantee, as are family fallouts and frictions. There will likely be one terrible and deeply saddening event that tips the scales in the direction of disaster and points to a position of no return for our endearing clan. However through moments of revelation and good old-fashioned family values, our thespians will raise their characters like a phoenix from the proverbial flames, and achieve their goals in heart-warming fashion.
Bringing the family together
Take Robin Williams, possibly the king of endearing, notable for his stellar performance as the one and only Mrs. Doubtfire. In RV:Runaway Vacation, he seems too caught up in his professional life to fix the issues with his dysfunctional family, to which he has promised the ultimate holiday to Hawaii. Instead, Bob Munro embarks on a road trip to the Colorado Rocky Mountains in order to combine business and pleasure, and it is a rocky road to redemption that eventually brings the family back together.
The king stars in another famous role, this time not the classic family holiday, but how could any trip to Neverland be treated as anything other than a spectacular sojourn?! With the appearance of a certain Dustin Hoffman, that’s how! Hook sees the two Hollywood heavyweights pitted against each other as Peter Pan attempts to bring back his beloved children from the clutches of Captain Hook, not exactly the holiday the Banning family had in mind, but definitely not a trip to forget in a hurry!
Hoffman stars later on in his career in the comedy Meet the Fockers, a sequel actually of the successful sort, following on from Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro’s domination of Meet the Parents. An RV is somewhat central to this film’s plot also, as De Niro brilliantly steers his ship-like motorhome to Miami and the birthplace of his son-in-law, the offspring of Hoffman and Barbara Streisand. Mishaps, mayhem, disaster and, of course, hilarity ensue.
Similar could be said of another classic holiday movie, again portraying the dysfunctions that can exist in each and every family. Little Miss Sunshine has it all in terms of eccentric characters, a clapped out Volkswagen, a vow of silence and a beauty contest. Setbacks and sadness threaten to tear the family apart, often in quite unfathomable fashion, yet the family prevails.
What have they taught us?
This appears to be the lesson of Hollywood and an example for us all to adhere to. No matter what traumas and tragedies life throws our way, there is no stronger, or often stranger, base than the family to overcome these trials. And why not have a laugh along the way?!