Monday, December 10, 2007

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

"Yule Crack Up"

I thought National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation was an appropriate film from the 1980's, it being so near to, well, Christmas vacation and everything. Written by John Hughes, directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik, and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki as Clark, Ellen, Audrey, and Rusty Griswold, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is another of the hilarious National Lampoon adventures, just this time of the Christmas variation.

This unconventional Christmas story begins with Clark Griswold taking his family on an expedition into the wilderness to find the perfect Christmas tree that included pissing off some passing motorcyclists, driving between the axles of a semi-truck, and walking for what seems to be miles in woods, his daughter even exclaiming that she can't feel her hips. Once they find what Clark deems to be the perfect tree, although it may look good, it is far from causing him problems. After Clark realizes that they have no saw with which to cut down the tree, you see them comically driving home with the tree on the roof of their car, roots still in tact. Then once they actually get the tree into their house it is way too big and breaks one of the windows.

Later, while Christmas shopping at a department store, Clark meets an attractive salesperson and while talking to her accidentally slips up and says some inappropriate things to her such as, "It's a bit nipply outside." He then goes on to fantasize about her in the pool he is planning on building with his Christmas bonus.

As it gets closer to Christmas, more and more of the Griswold's extended family begins arriving to stay with them, including Clark and Ellen's parents, and Ellen's cousin and his family who park their RV in the front lawn and explain that they are staying for a month.

Throughout the rest of the time leading up until Christmas, Clark does a series of things, such as putting up 25,000 Christmas lights, so that his family will have a traditional American family Christmas, but also in order to one-up his snooty neighbors who aren't really into the Christmas spirit. Clark not only has trouble getting the Christmas lights to work, but also the turkey is cooked too long, a cat is electrocuted, the Christmas tree burns down, one of the relative's cigar ignites the sewage from Ellen's cousin's RV on fire, and a squirrel jumps out of the replacement tree and begins running rampant through the house. Also, to add insult to injury, Clark never receives his much-need Christmas bonus.

In the end, because of its quirkiness, Clark's family's Christmas does end up being the perfect Christmas. Because of this, I wholeheartedly reccomend this to anyone who wants to really get into the Christmas spirit.

To watch the trailer go to:

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