Monday, December 15, 2014

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

The Vacation series is part of a wide range of comedy films based on stories featured in the now-defunct National Lampoon magazine. The main criteria of the Vacation film series is that it features Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold and Bevery D'Angelo as his wife, Ellen. Apparently, there will be a reboot that will follow Clark's son Rusty, but for now, we're looking at the third entry in the series, Christmas Vacation, released in 1989. The story was based on the December, 1980 issue of the National Lampoon magazine.

The film opens quite charmingly with a nice song as an animated Santa tries to get into the Griswold's house to deliver presents. But then it moves into the actual story as the Griswolds go to cut down their own Christmas tree, which they had to pull out of the ground and is just too big for their room when they can trim it down. But no matter, because Clark Griswold is determined to give his family the best Christmas he can. The entire family is invited over, he lights up the house, and promises a pool, but everything goes wrong in the worst kind of way, often making the neighbors (Christopher Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss) the victims of their attempts to celebrating.

Dinner gets ruined, the bright lights on the house are far too bright (when they're plugged in right), and Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family pop up, and Clark's Christmas bonus comes in a very unexpected and unfortunate form. But in the end, somehow, with just the right amount of chaos, the perfect Christmas comes together.

The movie has quickly become a classic, and feels quite relatable for families who like to make big celebrations. And it plays into the theme of how sometimes you try too hard to make the perfect Christmas and almost forget to enjoy the holiday for how it should be celebrated.

No comments: