I liked this film as a kid, I LOVE this film as an adult. Part of the successful, if not a little drawn out, National Lampoons series of movies, National Lampoons Christmas Vacation is without doubt one of the best festive films you can watch! In my opinion, of course.
From the fantastically hum-able intro music right through to the amusing patriotic (for American’s) ending, this film is crammed with humour, fun and festiveness!
The plot – unspoilt
The movie opens showing Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) driving with his family through snow-covered landscapes on the way to get the Griswold Family Christmas Tree. Full of the joys of the impending festive period, Clark and wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) merrily sing along to Christmas songs and try to tempt their children to join in.
Their offspring are both teenagers though, and aren’t feeling the same sense of excited anticipation. After a near-miss road accident, the Griswold family crash in to the parking lot and make their way in to the forest to select their grossly over-sized Christmas tree. This sets the scene for the movie as they fall from one amusing disaster to the next.
The grandparents are coming to stay for the season, and Clark’s hopes of a “good old-fashioned family Christmas” turn slightly more stressful as the grandparents fight, cousin Eddy shows up unannounced, and the spectacular Christmas lights on his house don’t work.
Without delving deeper and giving the story away, comedy ensues throughout the movie as Clark awaits a bonus from work in order to deliver a dream Christmas present to his family. Not everything goes to plan though, and Christmas threatens to end in complete disaster.
Festive frolics aplenty
I just cannot get enough of this movie each year, and look forward to it for weeks in advance. I usually leave it to be one of the final DVD’s to watch before Christmas, usually no earlier than the 20th December.
The comedy and the Christmassy feel of the movie are superb, really. I mean, what movie can have an intro with music and animation that good and not follow through at those high standards?