Sunday, December 23, 2012

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) review

I wanted to start this review off with an iconic quote for this great film but I don't think there is one. There isn't that much in terms of great dialogue but Christmas Vacation is the perfect film to put you in the spirit for one side of Christmas. The side where everything centers around the presents, the decorations, the food, the tree, the cookies and the lights. But Christmas Vacation represents only one half of the Christmas equation. In addition to the material side, there is also the spiritual side and the humanity that comes with the season. That is represented by It's A Wonderful Life, which is not just a Christmas Classic but a Classic in general. Now in no way am I comparing Christmas Vacation to It's A Wonderful Life; they compare in no way and one is far supreme. What I'm saying is that if there are two definitive Christmas films, it's these two. Now some people would argue for A Christmas Story (which I hope to watch for the first time on Christmas) and Miracle On 34th Street (which has been on all week but I haven't gotten through it) but I think that these two films are the best.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation centers on the hijinks of the Griswold family led by father Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) and mother Ellen Griswold (Bevely D'Angelo). The Griswold family is having a big family Christmas with all the relatives coming. I can't really come up with a good summary for this film because there isn't a ton of plot that I can describe about the movie. But all you need to know is that it will put you in the spirit and it is pretty dang funny.

Chevy Chase is once again very funny in his defining role as Clark Griswold. He is amazingly stupid and also very funny. The rest of the cast is great as well and it's a true ensemble. For a Big Bang Theory fan like me, it was also great to see Johnny Galecki as Rusty. But Randy Quaid steals the show as Cousin Eddie, whos is absolutely hilarious in the second half of the film. Overall, I don't have very many complaints about the film except that it gets a little too serious for five minutes in the midst of all the stupidity and it took away from the tone a little bit.

Christmas Vacation is the perfect film to get into the spirit of the season. I watched this film a few days ago and I felt more excited and happier than ever that Christmas was only four days away. It has all the ridiculousness and humor of a Chevy Chase film with the spirit of Christmas. And Christmas can get a little ridiculous, so I guess Christmas Vacation is a perfect embodiment of that insanity.


  1. I've watched several Christmas films in the last several weeks. This was, by far, the worst of the bunch. Language, and hint of nudity, means I wouldn't feel comfortable with children viewing title. Talented bunch of veteran actors are reduced to complaining about their aches and pains. Randy Quaid's Cousin Eddy is more annoying than funny.

  2. It is really good to watch Christmas film in Christmas season, you can also have a family bonding there. Anyway, thanks for sharing this review. I enjoyed reading it.