Customer Review

171 of 185 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Christmas, and We're All in Misery . . . ., December 30, 2000
This review is from: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation [VHS] (VHS Tape)
With apologies to Jimmy Stewart and Ralphie Parker, this is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. If you are reading this because you have never seen "Christmas Vacation", stop right now and go to the video store and rent it. Then come back here and order your own copy because you'll want to watch it over and over again each holiday season.
The undisputed gem of the National Lampoon 'Vacation' series, the plot can be summed up very simply: idealistic family man Clark Griswold wants to host the perfect old-fashioned fun family Christmas. As all of us idealistic family men have discovered, there is no such thing as a perfect holiday, and that just about sums it up. The appeal of this film is that we can all relate to the disasters that holidays can become, regardless of how well-meaning we are and how hard we work to achieve them.
The cast is terrific. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo (Ellen) are back as the Griswolds, with Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki assuming the roles of Audrey and Rusty. John Randolph and Diane Ladd are Clark's parents, while E.G. Marshall and the ultimate mother-in-law, Doris Roberts are Ellen's parents. Nicholas Guest and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss are Todd and Margo, the yuppie neighbors. William Hickey and Mae Questel (the voice of Betty Boop and Olive Oyl) nearly steal the show as Uncle Lewis and senile Aunt Bethany. Randy Quaid does steal the show - his "cousin-in-law" Eddie is one of the all-time great characters in recent comedy history.
The self-inflicted situations that befall Clark in his holiday quest are peppered with memorable dialogue and slapstick, yet believable enough to bring flickers of recognition to most viewers. Witness his mishaps on the roof putting up the lights; getting trapped in the attic; spending his Christmas bonus before he gets it; dealing with his snooty neighbors; and getting hilariously tongue-tied at the lingerie counter and being remarkably eloquent when he gets his "bonus". Admit it. We've all been there.
A holiday movie should be one that holds up to repeated viewings, and this one does. Besides the excellent cast and the familiar situations, there is a great score by Angelo Badalamenti (Twin Peaks), the animated opening credits sequence, and some fine tunes such as "Hey Santa Claus" by the Moonglows! There are numerous little touches that you might not catch the first several times - check out the shape of the packages in Mr. Shirley's office when Clark gives him his gift, and see what happens to the light bulbs Clark puts in the cart at the Wal-Mart.
I suspect, like in our home, "Christmas Vacation" has become a sort of institution in many homes each holiday season. We like to get together with friends to watch it, with everyone dressing as a character from the movie. We eat green jello with "cat food" in it, stand and join in the Pledge of Allegiance and the Star Spangled Banner, recite the lines along with the characters, and give thanks that our holidays are at least a little better than the Griswolds'.
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Comments

Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 11 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Mar 5, 2011 3:42:31 PM PST
I watch this every year at Christmas, and thought I was the biggest Christmas Vacation fan ever... but apparently not. You REALLY eat jello with catfood in it?

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 3:43:57 PM PST
I watch this every year at Christmas, and thought I was the biggest Christmas Vacation fan ever... but apparently not. You REALLY eat jello with catfood in it?

Posted on Oct 18, 2011 11:31:36 PM PDT
I couldn't agree with you more. I grew up on this movie, I'm 25 and it is my favorite by far of any christmas movie. I've watched it countless times and it NEVER gets old!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 24, 2012 6:42:07 AM PDT
Maybe it's Hormel's Spam? :D

Posted on Nov 16, 2012 7:17:25 PM PST
Shawn Walden says:
wow, you dress as characters and recite lines from the movie.. thats pretty funny ! I love this move as well, but id say your more dedicated than i am. good on you !

Posted on Dec 1, 2012 6:26:48 PM PST
This review was written twelve years ago as I type this in 2012. Just had to comment on how wild it was to see someone talk about going to the video store to rent a movie. Video stores don't exist anymore, but streaming movies online was not available in 2000. This review was like a little time capsule.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2012 9:10:26 PM PST
I'm reading this review and begin to wonder if your a card carrying member of the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" fan club. Reciting lines, dressing up, green jello with cat food in it. Do you throw anything at the TV too. Act out the parts. Just wondering. Great review.

Posted on Dec 24, 2012 5:54:35 PM PST
DougFL says:
What's a video store?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2013 3:22:33 PM PST
nysnowbird92 says:
better than that.. this review is 13 years old now.. what's a VHS tape?

Posted on Dec 12, 2013 9:30:14 PM PST
J. Kazley says:
Does not matter when the review was written, it is right on. Our family has been watching this movie every year, usually after Thanksgiving dinner. The kids know every line an often use them throughout the year... "Surprised? I wouldn't be more surprised if my head was sewn to the carpet!" A family favorite quote. The reviewer is correct. Each time you watch you pick up something. Watch Ellen's placement of her hand when the police raid the house after the kidnaping. This a good, fun movie! :)
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