Directed by – Jeremiah S. Chechik
Written by – John Hughes
Starring – Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Diane Ladd, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Randy Quaid, Miriam Flynn, Cody Burger, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, William Hickey, Mae Questel, Sam McMurray, Nicholas Guest, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicolette Scorsese, Brian Doyle-Murray
I’m not sure how many times I’ve actually watched this movie now but it still makes me laugh. That’s no small feat for a comedy in my house. I love the Vacation series of films, although Vegas Vacation didn’t seem to work to well for me, but Christmas Vacation has always been my favorite of the bunch.
Chevy Chase has always done physical comedy well and he gets smacked up and down in this one. Whether it’s their tree that’s too big for the living room, his attempt at putting up Christmas lights or trying to hide presents in the attic the result is always the same. Sure the job gets done, but not before Clark Griswold has gotten his lumps. The Griswold’s are basically the definition of Murphy’s Law. If it can go wrong, it will for this family and we get to laugh the whole time.
By this time, I’m pretty sure everyone has seen Christmas Vacation at least once and the plot is pretty simple. Clark Griswold just wants to have a nice family Christmas at home. The problem is he has to have the family with him. The in-laws can’t stand each other, his brother-in-law shows up in his RV flat broke and his Aunt Bethany comes to dinner with her cat wrapped up in a box. Every moment of this movie has me laughing. I couldn’t even begin to list all the funny moments in this one, although my particular favorite is the cat wrapped in the box, with the cat’s untimely demise in a burst of flame and fur while chewing on Christmas lights a close second.
If A Christmas Story is how I’d like my holidays to be then Christmas Vacation is how they usually turn out! I can see alot of myself in Clark Griswold. He just wants all his family together and he’s full of holiday joy, much like myself. Many years of Christmas have taught me that it never works out right, from fighting kids to my Dad being grumpy over this or that. Somehow, just like Christmas Vacation, everything always turns out just right.
While much of the movie is spent going over the many troubles that Clark has with the different holiday traditions, tree trimming, Christmas dinner and gift shopping (who can forget his nipply encounter!) there’s the ongoing problem of his Christmas bonus which he needs to pay for the swimming pool he’s already put a down payment on. That plotline takes us to the end of the film where all the things that have gone wrong come together to make for the perfect family Christmas. It’s a great movie full of laughs and is always one of my favorites to watch during the holidays.
Under the mistletoe – Will