I've long been a fan of the "Vacation" films, as well as National Lampoon movies in general. "Christmas Vacation" is the third-best Lampoon movie and the second-best of the "Vacation" series. Chevy Chase returns as Clark Griswold Jr., who is this time set on making this year's Christmas one to remember. He did it.
Chase is at best and funniest. Beverly D'Angelo returns as Ellen Griswold, with the Griswold kids now portrayed by Johnny Galecki and a young Juliette Lewis. Diane Ladd, John Randolph, E.G. Marshall, and Doris Roberts are the grandparents. Randy Quaid is hilarious in his return as Cousin Eddy. Brian Doyle-Murray is, as always, great, as Clark's angry, cold-hearted boss. Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfus play Clark's rich, stuck-up neighbors.
The soundtrack is actually very good. It's filled with some great Christmas tunes, along with a good score by the amazing Angelo Badalamenti.
John Hughes' script is terrific. We can believe what the Griswold family is going through because we've gone through it too. But Hughes' script isn't all laugh-out-loud comedy; at it's heart, it's a message about a caring father who tries to make the best Christmas for his family. There's one scene where Clark can't get the Christmas lights to work, and all the family members say comforting things to him; I thought it was actually a pretty moving scene.
"Christmas Vacation" is great, hilarious Christmas fun. If you're looking for a new movie this Christmas season, give this one a shot.
This is the original zany Christmas comedy. From the beginning road race to the outrageous climax, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition) will have you laughing out loud. Many movies have copied the jokes in this movie (especially the ultra-bright Christmas lights, which was copied in Deck the Halls), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Special Edition) is the original and still the best.
The third in the series of National Lampoon's 'Vacation' films, this sequel concerns the Griswold family's holiday get-together. This time they're trying to have a picture book, old-fashioned Christmastime--even though all the in-laws are dropping by, including Clark's (Chevy Chase) redneck cousin, Eddie (Randy Quaid). Looks like it's going to be a real holly-jolly holiday--if they can make it through.