Xmas: 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' (1989) Dir. Jeremiah S. Chechik
The third entry in the Chevy Chase 'Lampoon' films lets us share Christmas with the dysfunctional Griswold family for one that nobody will ever forget...
Proud family man Clark Griswold (Chase) is determined to host the perfect family Christmas for supportive wife Ellen (D'Angelo) and children Audrey (Lewis) and Rusty (Galecki).
Welcoming the family after a few hiccups, including finding a tree and broken decorations, the Griswolds are set for a good-old fashioned family Christmas. Clark wants to make sure everything runs smoothly, including the promise of his anticipated Christmas bonus after a successful year at work.
With bickering in-laws and clashes over who sleeps where, the perfect Christmas soon starts to unravel. Clark pulls out the stop and battles through a series of chaotic events that will test both him and the family to see them sticking it out together...
From obtaining a Christmas tree out in the wilderness, to wiring up the thousands of decorative lights to the house and scheduling in the Christmas dinner all around the expectant delivery of a financial bonus, events all seem to take a upside down turn and it just makes the family more determined than ever to solider through and really make this Christmas special!
Set around the Griswold home, this could be the greatest Christmas film ever. No need for fantastical special effects, sweeping magical stories or epic adventures; this is a film we all can relate to and provides all of the warm humour and comedy from situations we have experienced in setting up for the Christmas season, which is why it works so well. The Griswold’s are a likeable bunch and they invite you in from the start to share the holiday with them and experience every annoyance, irk and frustration we too have had over the years.
Working in the films favour as always is the straight delivery of some classic lines from the actors as they create the most memorable American family since the Walton’s, and they work together so well with a great festive script to seal the deal.
This is my perfect Christmas film for all the right reasons and with crackling comedy and a feel-good festive message running throughout.
You can’t help but love the outrageous comedy and prat-falls, and always be thankful your Christmas holiday isn’t as disastrous as the Griswold’s.
'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' is a Hughes Entertainment production