National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

Release Date: December 1st, 1989

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.

Directed By: Jeremiah Chechik

Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki


I started off my holiday film viewing this year with a classic, Christmas Vacation. The film is the third in the series of National Lampoon movies that follows the Griswold family. This time around, they stay at home for the holidays and nothing goes as planned. Relatives are invited to spend the holidays with them and one family shows up unexpected.

Chevy Chase always does a really good job in the Vacation films. Out of the four, I would say Christmas Vacation is by far my favourite. I make sure to watch it every holiday season. The jokes never get old and the movie doesn’t seem dated at all.

The premise for those that haven’t possibly seen the film:

Clark W. Griswold is an all-American family man that ranks his family at the very top of his list. He works for a company and is expecting a big Christmas bonus this year. With the money from the bonus, he will be putting in a swimming pool. His and his wife (Ellen) have invited both their parents to spend the holidays with them. Clark’s children, Rusty and Audrey, are your typical teenagers that are played by different actors and actresses in every movie (a running gag throughout the films). Clark’s cousin, Eddie, along with his wife and two children, show up uninvited to spend a month with the family. They bring along their RV and their dog, Snots (appropriate name when you watch the film). Throughout the movie, Clark is excited for Christmas (goes shopping and hits on a woman selling lingerie, puts up thousands of Christmas lights on his home but has difficulties, and so on) and just wants everyone to have a good time. However, things of course don’t go as planned and when Clark learns what his bonus really is this year, he blows a gasket, to say the least.


The movie has very little flaws. My only complaint, and it isn’t even that, is the whole subplot with the neighbours. We see them for maybe 5-10 minutes out of the whole movie and they aren’t really a necessary part of the film, at least to me.



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