National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
The family goes on a quest for “The Griswold Family Christmas Tree.” With his usual over-enthusiasm, Clark has planned a “good, old-fashioned family Christmas.” His family is wary of his plans but Clark is oblivious. He has nostalgic moments of Christmas past when he is accidentally locked in the attic. Clark outdoes himself with 25,000 lights on the roof, but he can’t get the power on. Eventually the lights turn on and they are spectacular. In addition to the usual family get together, the Griswolds have some unexpected visitors. Eddie and Catherine show up. In spite of all the good intentions and careful planning, Christmas plans go awry. Clark’s frustration at not receiving his expected Christmas bonus eventually erupts and cousin Eddie kidnaps his boss. The family gathers again on the front lawn to enjoy the “Christmas Star,” which turns out to be an explosion. Clark watches this strange but touching sight and finally realizes that his dream of the perfect, family Christmas has finally come true.
Yeah, I’m a little late with this one. I actually expected to get it in last week, but Netflix suddenly put it on long wait. Oh well, technically, it is still the holidays.
Some have made the case that this is the best of the Vacation franchise. I can see how they would think that, but I still give the edge to the original film.
Let me get one thing out of the way first. In each film, the kids are played by different actors. This is fine, but you’d think they could at least keep them around the same age. In National Lampoon’s European Vacation, they seemed as if they would be starting college soon, yet in this film, they seem to have gotten 5-10 yrs younger. WTF?!?
You’ve seen holiday movies before. They all have some sort of hokie plot that is all family friends and meant to stir up some kind of emotions inside you. Well, this one initially has the same idea, but it soon goes into its own way of doing things, which makes it great.
There is plenty of physical comedy to go around here. Some have said that it was a bit too much. Those people obviously, have not been paying attention to these films, though, because said comedy is what you come to expect.
The cast is relatively unchanged from the previous films, as you don’t mess with perfection, ovviously…except for the aforementioned children.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a must see for anyone around the holidays. I can tell you it will be joining the holiday tradition around here along with the classics such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Bad(der)Santa, and A Christmas Carol. Yes, it has its flaws, but one of the thing that makes movies from the 80s and early 90s so great is that they weren’t perfect, and they knew it. Back then, movies were made for fun and not a cheap buck. I highly recommend this to any and everyone!
4 1/2 out of 5 stars