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National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

national-lampoons-christmas-vacationClark Wilhelm Griswold Jr. (Chevy Chase) is committed to having to having the greatest old fashioned Christmas possible for his family, even if it kills them. That’s why he brings together his bickering inlaws, gets the biggest tree, and struggles to have the brightest lights on the block. Unfortunately it seems like Christmas is conspiring against him, as everything that can go wrong, does.

What makes National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation such a Christmas classic?

It has to be Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold. He always just goes with the flow, responding to adversity with a stoic grin, preferring to let conflict wash over him than get involved. Watching his reactions as he slowly simmers to a boil has to be one of the best parts of this film as he tries valiantly to put together a great Christmas for his family. You’ll have to watch for yourself- but be prepared for rodents, unexpected guests, and even some explosions.


From the biggest tree…

You almost feel sorry for Griswold’s neighbours who are all too often the collateral damage from Griswold’s misadventures. Luckily they are too snobby to care about, and are the are the epitome of 80s yuppies, who are so very chic. In fact, one of them is Julia Louis-Dreyfus, most famous for her role as Elayne in Seinfeld.

While Griswold is dealing with all of the frustrations that have come about from his attempted perfect Christmas, he has other problems- he is still waiting for the Christmas bonus that he relies on.

What genre of comedy is used primarily?


…to the most lights, Griswold does it right

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation relies heavily on slapstick for its humour, offering plenty of visual gags to spice up the dialogue. As well, it has a healthy dose of puns and one-liners. Many of the jokes are obvious, but there is a certain sick satisfaction in watching a train flying down the tracks when you know it is heading right for a cliff. I do confess to having feelings of glee as I watched Griswald precariously putting up his Christmas lights… and as events slowly send him from simmering to boiling over.

Who do I recommend National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for?

It is a PG13 movie, so as long as your kids are mature enough, I would recommend this for families to enjoy at Christmas. Personally though, I wanted to watch the movie because I enjoyed Chevy Chase so much in “Community”. I feel like the younger generation that has been able to enjoy him so much in “Community” should definitely check out his older works. This guy is a really funny guy, and his delivery and facial expressions are perfect.

Can Griswold finally find his perfect Christmas?

Do you really expect me to answer that? Go watch the movie before you spoil it for yourself 🙂

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