Revisiting ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’

“Merry Christmas, s****er’s full.”

One of the great one-liners in cinema history was birthed in this holiday classic with the Griswold family. Yes, Christmas Vacation is an awesome film and there will be no debate on that. This film is actually my second favorite Christmas film behind the one that I will do a revisit of on Christmas Day.

I became familiar with this movie when my parents showed it to me when I was around 13-14 years old. At that age, I was not comprehending some of the humor that it was trying to convey but now that I am 20, I totally get it and why I can sit in my living room and watch it almost any time it pops up on AMC or Freeform.

Christmas Vacation is about the Griswold family Christmas and Clark, played by the legend Chevy Chase, is trying to be as over-the-top and extra as he can be to put on the best, old-fashioned family Christmas that he can. Thus, this brings on many hilarious problems and brouhahas that we get to see unfold over a brisk 97-minute runtime.

What this film does so well is capture the chaos that families can go through around this time of the year and while most families probably don’t experience the cartoonish moments, the feeling of being overwhelmed by, not only the holiday itself, but trying to cater to every family member in a household.

My favorite moments in the film are whenever Clark is dealing with putting up Christmas decorations outside of the house. The anger and frustration he feels whenever his lights don’t work is how I feel whenever lights fall off my wall because the mounting putty wasn’t strong enough.

The best character in this film is, of course, Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, who delivers the line that opened up this revisit.

Every time you see Eddie, it’s just comedic genius. His mannerisms, his outfits and any word that comes out of his mouth is just insane.

“Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.”

“Clark, I’d like to try to fumigate this here chair, it’s a good quality item. If you don’t mind my askin’, how much did she set you back?”

Let’s not forget the iconic duo of Uncle Lewis and Aunt Bethany. Now, I understand that the film may lose you around the time they are introduced because it does go 100% cartoonish chaos with Bethany being oblivious to everything and Lewis burning down Clark’s tree after he lights his stogie.

Christmas Vacation is just one of those films where you can just sit back and watch glorious chaos unfold and have an absolute grand ole time. There are one-liners that you won’t get out of your head and while it’s not a transcendent film, it is definitely a classic and one of the funniest films that I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing.

Rating: 8/10

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