What your about to see isn’t pretty, in fact its rather shambolic. Chevy Chase once again takes to our screens as Clark Griswold in National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation (1989). The Griswold family including a young and fresh Juliette Lewis and Beverly D’Angelo as the mother, attract chaos wherever they go, whatever they do. This time is no exception. Its Christmas time and anything Clark touches goes wrong, like the domino effect. Christmas is about family, and The Griswold’s intend on having the perfect Christmas spent with their loved ones¦or so they hoped.
What you see next is an hour and a half of Christmas Vacation’s epic fails, tasks that most find easy to complete but not the Griswolds. From choosing a Christmas tree that’s the size of a two storey house, to attaching 25,000 light bulbs to his house with his son (Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory) and checking that they all work and the infamous Christmas dinner, are chores that come with the biggest problems. With the slight slapstick element that comes with all Chevy Chase films everything that happens is silly, but laugh out loud funny.
While trying to create the ideal environment to spend Christmas in, Clark also has to deal with his obnoxious and snobbish neighbours who look down on his family with utter disdain. Not only does this begin to cause problems, the in laws come to stay for the special day as well as his hick cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family of hillbillies. Just the right ingredients for disaster. Clark can handle everything that is thrown his way, none of that matters, as he will receive his Christmas bonus from the firm he has been working for, for 17 years¦or will he.
The ‘In laws’ behave as old people do, sleeping at random points during the day, having no tact when talking, and doing whatever they please. Clearly it’s obvious where the madness comes from. The cousins family are on a whole other level, turning up in their rusty old trailer and 70’s style clothes they clearly bring the sophistication to the picture. Despite these terrible elements, the whole film works as the biggest cheese fest on the Christmas Top 30. Expect nothing less when Chevy Chase is included.
One thing in Christmas Vacation that did work for me, are the parts of the film when characters try to be offensive (in the least offensive way possible). This makes the whole production more entertaining.