Saturday, December 14, 2013

Movie Review: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989)

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Movie: "Christmas Vacation"
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Year: 1989
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 37 minutes

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants nothing more than to have a wonderful family Christmas at his home. He is the last true family man. He builds things up in his head on how he wants them to be and sets standards so high that no one could possibly meet them. This leads to a tendency to overdo things, which often leads to disaster. From obnoxious feuding family and uninvited guests to a turkey as dry as the Sahara, from snobby next door neighbors to imported Italian twinkle lights that just won't shine, Clark tries very hard to keep a positive attitude about Christmas and does his best to make sure everyone is happy.

John Hughes wrote this movie, and he likes to watch things go wrong.

"Christmas Vacation" has become a classic over the last 24 years....holy crap, this movie came out 24 years ago?!?!?!?!?! It's still freaking hilarious today, each and every time we watch it. A lot of people talk down about Chevy Chase, but he certainly is funny in this movie, and if you can separate him as a person from his role, you will enjoy this movie more. The comedy is a lot like every Chevy Chase role, brief undercuttings of sarcastic comments that no one was truly meant to hear. It's clumsy and slapstick, and he can convey a lot with just the simplest expressions. Chase can also play a straight-man to Randy Quaid's even more ridiculous cousin Eddie.

Though over-the-top, Clark's expectation mirrors that of many people's during the holidays, ourselves included! People often try their best and set unrealistic goals for themselves and expect people to react a certain way but are often let down when things don't go the way they planned. It happens to everyone, it's just part of life. Christmas is hectic and we totally understand where he is coming from when he just wants his family to have a nice, fun family Christmas.

My Rating: 9/10
BigJ's Rating: 9/10
IMDB's Rating: 7.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 63%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES, it's classic Christmas hilarity!


  1. Possibly my favorite of all Christmas movies! It's become my tradition to have this playing while I decorate our tree. And I just FINALLY got it on dvd this year so I might watch it again. So many great parts. So many great lines. Ahhh, love it!!!


    1. Absolutely agreed! It has recently become one of my top 3 favorite Christmas movies. You must re-watch and do a review on it! It's so funny!!