It’s that time of the fortnight again where we give you our movie recommendations for you to binge your hearts out over the weekend. If you’ve been following along, you’d notice that every Gizmodo Movie Night has a unique theme.
The theme is something that we think about a lot to make sure it’s something that you, our fabulous readers, will love and want to watch. Sometimes it’s Squid Game themed, other times it’s about campy horror movies. Either way, it can be difficult to know if these themes are really what you want.
Not this week though. This week we are almost certain you are going to love what we have in store for you. That’s because a fun quirk we’ve noticed about you is that you love RV content. We do too. That’s why we want you to help us celebrate the fabulous world of campers.
So buckle up for this week’s Gizmodo Movie Night because we are taking you on a road trip with the best films that feature an RV.
We’re The Millers (2013)
When thinking of movies that feature an RV, We’re The Millers should come straight to mind. It’s probably one of the most iconic RV-centred movies purely because of the sheer hilarity of the plot and the bonkers stuff that goes down.
The movie follows David (Jason Sudeikis); a normal, run of the mill guy and small-time drug dealer. David is forced by his dodgy boss to smuggle drugs from Mexico across the border. To make things less suspicious for when he crosses the border, David comes up with the brilliant plan to find a fake family and take them with him.
No one suspects families, right?
In an interesting move, David hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a petty thief (Emma Roberts) and his weird teenage neighbour (Will Pouter) to be this fake family and packs them all in a huge RV to cross the border. Seems like a good idea.
We’re The Millers is such an easy film to watch and is full of cheap jokes that aren’t done in a gross way. Almost every scene will have you laughing. It’s also the film responsible for the most iconic “No Ragrets” tattoo scene.
The actors are incredible together and riff off one another, creating the funniest, most dysfunctional fake family.
You can watch the trailer here.
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
With or without an RV, Little Miss Sunshine is an incredible feel-good movie. Not to mention how funny it is and how brilliant the actors are in portraying a truly dysfunctional family. A real one this time, not like the phony Millers.
What is similar about We’re The Millers and Little Miss Sunshine, however, is that both involve family units driving cross-country in an RV/Minivan. This time, the Hoover family are heading to California to support their daughter’s attempt to win the Little Miss Sunshine Contest.
As you could imagine, being confined to a small minivan with your family stretches everyone to their limit. The film perfectly captures it too, showing that non-verbal reactions are sometimes funnier because you can feel just how frustrated everyone is.
A young Abigail Breslin steals this movie for me because you get to see how young children navigate family dynamics whilst still trying to be, you know, children. Not to mention it has Aussie film icon Toni Collette who, as always, smashes this role out of the park.
What is most refreshing about this movie is how unique each character is and how desperate they all are to just be happy despite life not being the kindest to them.
It’s also one of the first films that screenwriter Michael Arndt worked on. He’s just a low-key writer who went on to write some pretty small, indie films like Toy Story 3, The Hunger Games, Oblivion, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Inside Out. Nothing major.
You can watch the trailer here.
Little Miss Sunshine is currently streaming on Disney+.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994)
Don’t get me started on how much I love this movie. I could write an essay about it. If you are going to watch any RV movie, make sure it’s this one.
It’s Aussie, it’s camp as hell, it has the best costumes, the best soundtrack and it tackles some pretty heavy stuff whilst being one of the funniest movies ever.
If you aren’t familiar with this iconic film, it basically follows two drag queens Tick (Hugo Weaving) and Felicia (Guy Pearce) and their bestie Bernadette (a trans woman played by Terence Stamp) as they journey to the red centre of Australia from Sydney.
The hero of the film? The pink, glammed-out RV bus named Priscilla, obviously.
The adventures the three go on are both hilarious and heart-breaking. To have a film feature queer stories, narratives and Indigenous people is what makes Priscilla so amazing. It shows the comradery of queer friendships and how important it is for queer people to choose who their families are.
What is incredible about this film is that it was so ahead of its time, and even our time now, in that it featured drag queens and trans people who are strong and don’t put up with anyone’s shit. Not to mention the film only had a budget of US$2 million and yet made US$29.7 million in the box office. Oh, and it won an Oscar for best costume design too.
What other RV movie can give you the beauty that is the below clip?
You can watch the trailer here (warning: there is some pretty outdated language in it around trans identities).
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is available on Amazon Prime.
Whilst the others have been comedies, Nomadland takes RVs to a whole new serious light. It most recently won a slew of awards at the 2021 Oscars including Best Film, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Director and Best RV. Kidding, that last one isn’t a real category but it bloody well should be.
I’m sure you’ve heard all the hype and praise for Nomadland so I’m going to keep mine brief.
Put simply: Watch this movie, seriously.
This is such a powerful storytelling film that showcases the triumphs and tragedies of everyday people.
Life on the road had not been properly captured before this film. It emphasises the beauty of finding oneself on the open road, completely free of life’s constraints. But it shows that your problems will follow you unless you confront them and process your losses.
Everyone has a story and this film allows you to connect and empathise with people.
You can watch the trailer here.
Nomadland is currently streaming on Disney+.
Breaking Bad (2008-)
Well, this one just seems too obvious because an RV is literally used to cook meth. However, it wouldn’t be a complete list without it.
Things aren’t going so great for high school chemistry teacher Walter White (Bryan Cranston). His wife is pregnant, his son is living with cerebral palsy and Walter has just been diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Understanding that his illness will more than likely financially ruin his family, who are already stretched, Walter does what anyone would do. Turn his RV into a meth lab.
This show is addictively good. It will test your morals and shows just how far people are willing to go to help the ones they love. It’s also one of the darkest, most disturbing and chaotic shows out there. The acting is also exceptional.
Side note: What’s with RVs being used for illicit doings in movies? I understand that they have heaps of room but they are probably the least inconspicuous vehicles. I’d imagine you’d want your drug den to be hidden and not in a motor home? But hey, what do I know.
You can watch the trailer for season 1 here.
All seasons of Breaking Bad are currently streaming on Stan.
Honourable RV film moments
Despite not making it to our list, we couldn’t miss the chance to include some iconic RV moments from these films.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013)
This makes the honourable mentions list because it is one of the dumbest things I’ve ever seen. Ron (Will Ferrell) puts the RV on cruise control thinking that means it will drive itself. Of course, the van crashes. As in, it flips several times.
The slow-motion crash scene is the most chaotic thing you’ll watch today.
Watch the hilarious RV crash scene here.
The Toybox (2018)
A horror/supernatural film that has an RV as a major plot point? Say no more.
The Toybox is currently available on Amazon Prime.
The Incredibles (2004)
Bet you didn’t think you’d see The Incredibles on an RV list? Well, think again because this movie has literally got it all.
The Incredible family hijack an RV that they transport using a rocket whilst trying to chase the Omnidrioid from destroying the city. It’s got everything in it we love about The Incredibles, mostly the bickering between Mr and Mrs Incredible.
Watch the RV chase scene here.
The Incredibles is now streaming on Disney+
Spice World (1997)
It would be sacrilegious if I didn’t put Spice World on this list. As you could imagine, the Spice Girls take centre-stage with their debut film where they tour around in an iconic British double-decker bus.
Unfortunately, you aren’t able to watch the full film on any streaming service in Australia but they are some iconic photos on Google and some clips on Youtube I’m sure you can find.
Gizmodo Movie Night is our fortnightly roundup of movie and TV recommendations for the weekend. If you’re ever stuck and looking for inspiration, check out our list and see what’s in store.
Stay tuned for the next edition of the column and check out our last one: Best Movies That Star the Harry Potter Cast.