Picks and Pans Review: Johnson Family Vacation

UPDATED 04/19/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/19/2004 at 01:00 AM EDT

Cedric the Entertainer, Vanessa Williams

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It has been seven years since Chevy Chase, as Clark Griswold, last took his movie family on a comically disastrous holiday ('97's Vegas Vacation, their fourth outing). Possibly sensing an opening—tag it the Bumbling Dad with TripTik Planner Gap—Cedric the Entertainer has answered the call. In the modestly funny Family Vacation, he plays Nate Johnson, a hapless dad who packs his brood into the car and drives from L.A. to a family reunion in Missouri. En route, he bonds with his rap-loving son (Bow Wow), earns points with his fashion-victim daughter (Solange Knowles, Beyoncé's younger sister), spoils his youngest kid (Gabby Soleil) and reconciles with his estranged wife (Williams) while learning to respect her career ambitions. This is sitcom material, though it's pleasant enough if one isn't looking for the Vacation of a lifetime. (PG-13)

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