Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

“Oh, the silent majesty of a winter’s morn… the clean, cool chill of the holiday air… an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer…”

When it comes to Christmas classics, it’s hard to beat the Griswolds.

I’ve probably seen National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation a couple dozen times by now, if not more. Its certainly a Christmas tradition.

In the third, and arguably the best, installment of the Vacation series, Chevy Chase stars as Clark W. Griswold, the oftentimes dopey, accident-prone patriarch of the Griswold clan, who this time stays home plays host in what he hopes will be the the perfect family Christmas. Beverly D’Angelo returns as Clark’s wife Ellen, while the Griswold children, Audrey (Juliette Lewis) and Rusty (Johnny Galecki) are re-cast once again.

The highlights of the film are numerous and primarily revolve around Clark’s ridiculously over-the-top project to cover his house in Christmas lights, The unwanted surprise visit from Randy Quaid’s Cousin Eddie, and the plight of the Griswold’s trendy neighbors Todd (Nicholas Guest) and Margo Chester (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) who’s jaded holiday humbuggary only leads them to become the repeated (unintended) victims of the Griswolds’ mini-disasters.

Watching this movie today for the first time through “critics eyes” I did notice some logical issues that really bugged me, particularly surrounding the otherwise both heartwarming and hilarious attic scene, and for a while I thought these would force me to knock the movie down a notch. But I just can’t. Christmas Vacation is a must-see holiday classic.

[National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik – Rated PG-13]

OM|ED Rating: Must See