National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
December 15, 2017 8:37 PM - Subscribe

It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon. Starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki and written by John Hughes

64/86 on Rotten Tomatoes, 3 stars and 13+ on Common Sense Media, 2 stars from Roger Ebert
None of these people are particularly good examples of the Christmas spirit. And the Griswsold children have grown sullen and ill-tempered, especially when Clark tries to enlist them in such projects as decorating the home with 125,000 light bulbs. Everything that can possibly go wrong will, of course, go wrong, and that includes Griswold locking himself in the attic, falling off the roof and being assaulted by the hillbilly cousin's ravenous hound.

There are long stretches in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" when this almost works. The movie is curious in how close it comes to delivering on its material: Sequence after sequence seems to contain all the necessary material, to be well on the way toward a payoff, and then it somehow doesn't work.
27 Facts About Christmas Vacation
Christmas Vacation marked the final film of Mae Questel, who began her career as the voice of Betty Boop in 1931. She passed away at the age of 89 in January of 1998.
Xmas or Bust: The Untold Story of 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'

'National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation' Cast: Where Are They Now?
posted by the man of twists and turns (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Missing Brian Doyle-Murray tag.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:56 PM on December 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:08 AM on December 16, 2017 [5 favorites]

I got a kick out of this interview with the “girl who stops you from seeing boobs”.
posted by ftm at 7:51 AM on December 16, 2017

The original script has a few minor differences; the saddest one is that there was originally supposed to be a final scene at the end where Todd and Margot are curled up in bed, reassuring each other that the horror is over... when the burning sleigh and reindeer crash through the roof and onto the bed!
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:03 AM on December 16, 2017 [3 favorites]

One of Chevy Chase's finest moments, if you ask me:

"Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! Hallelujah, holy shit!

Where's the Tylenol?"
posted by entropicamericana at 8:27 PM on December 17, 2017 [3 favorites]

I’ve actually loved this movie since I first saw it on Christmas in the theatre as an 11 year old kid. At the time I appreciated it for what I saw as its utter ridiculousness but, as I’ve grown since that Christmas of 1989 into someone who would prefer to skip the holidays altogether, my appreciation now comes from the realization that the movie makes a mockery of Christmas traditions that so many people hold so dear but can’t seem to explain why. It’s glorious!
posted by nickthetourist at 9:51 PM on December 17, 2017

I've thought many times that if I want to create a new account here, I will call it Save the neck for me,
posted by MoonOrb at 7:31 PM on December 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

It had me at the precise moment Clark gets on his snow disc and instantly disappears in a trail of thrown up snow like some kind of Looney Tunes episode. Ah, memories.
posted by Atreides at 11:53 AM on December 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

Most of my favorite moments involve Coustin Eddie, but I think the best line in the movie is the perfect delivery of "The little lights are not twinkling".
posted by Gary at 11:00 PM on December 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

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