Saturday, November 10, 2012
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) review
The National Lampoon's series has had its flops and rises; this one is a small rise. This has become a huge tradition in my household to watch this movie at least once every holiday season.
PLOT:In this third installment of the National Lampoon's vacation, the Griswolds decide to stay at home for this year's Christmas vacation, but the hassles of the family fighting and getting Christmas perfect are getting in the way. Clark (Chevy Chase) just wants a happy family Christmas, but the family's fighting, the lights aren't working, the trees too big, the neighbors are prudes, and the bonus check Clark's been hoping for is getting further and further delayed. Will this crazy, mixed-up Christmas work out right? It's a simple plot executed very well.
ACTING:The acting's not spectacular, but it's still pretty great. Chevy Chase plays a pretty funny part as the dysfunctional family-man, Clark Griswold. The whole family played mainly off of his actions, especially Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold, the wife. Besides these two, the shiners are Juliette Lewis as Audrey Griswold, Johnny Galecki as Rusty Griswold, Randy Quaid as Cousine Eddie, Dianne Ladd as Nora Griswold (Clark's mother), John Randolph as Clark Griswold, Sr., E.G. Marshall as Art (Ellen's father), Doris Roberts as Francis (Ellen's mother), Julia Lewis-Dreyfuss as Margo Chester, Mae Questel as Aunt Bethany, William Hickey as Uncle Lewis, and Brian Doyle-Murray as Mr. Frank Shirley. Every performance in the family worked, as well as the wacky-er roles.
SCORE:The score wasn't anything too special, but it was used pretty well. The soundtrack has lived in my family since we started the tradition, from the title song to "The Spirit of Christmas".
EFFECTS:There weren't a whole lot of effects, but of the few there, they were pretty realistic.
OTHER CONTENT:This Christmas movie has lived in my family as long as I can remember as one of the traditional Christmas movies we watch every year. It stays true to the crazier aspects of Christmas and how timeless it really is. The jokes can sometimes flop as well as rise, as it is a National Lampoons movie. Either way, it's still a near-hilarious and timeless Christmas movie tradition.
OVERALL,a good Christmas movie with a very well-executed plot, great acting, well-fitted score and traditional soundtrack, realistic effects, timeless jokes, Christmas realism, and some good jokes, but a lot of the movie can get old and fall as well.