National Lampoons Christmas Vacation 1989 720p WEB-DL x264
Clark Griswold plans an old fashioned family Christmas. I enjoyed this one for it's humour and Chevy Chase's hilarious performance. The story is pretty thin but contains a little nod to Dickens' A Christmas Carol with the Griswolds in place of the Cratchits and Brian Doyle-Murray playing a Scrooge-like Frank Shirley. The main focus is Clark's mission to have a big, joyful family Christmas and everything associated with this that goes spectacularly wrong. As a comedy it is reasonably strong and the jokes come thick and fast. From the start we see Clark's visual buffoonery in a plethora of disastrous actions, decisions and situations. There is a fair bit of slapstick and one-liners that worked well for me. Also the family dynamics involving the children, grandparents and other eccentric relatives are easily recognisable. Christmas Vacation is probably best known for Clark's ridiculously over the top exterior light show that he plasters all over the house. These are the strongest scenes in the movie and Chevy Chase has some of his most memorable moments here. Chase's performance for me is superb. He can make me laugh with facial expressions, physical awkwardness and one-liners. It is him and his characters that carry most of his movies and this is no different. Clark is a control freak who has everything planned out and we have the pleasure of seeing him unravel as the plans backfire. He has good support from Beverly D'Angelo and the remaining cast but it all revolves around him. Julia Louis-Dreyfus has some funny moments as one half of a couple of Yuppie neighbours. My only negatives are that it does contain a few too many recycled concepts from the original Vacation movie for my liking, such as 'the girl', the car-jump, animal death, Clarke's meltdown and heart to heart with a child. Also for me, the comedy dips in quality a bit in the second half, particularly with the protracted squirrel sequence and the repetition of fire/explosion related gags. As 'Christmas movies' go it's pretty good. How many have a cultural impact you can actually see when driving around suburban housing estates after dark during the month of December?
- Chevy Chase
- Beverly D'Angelo
- Juliette Lewis