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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Reviews

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cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 9, 2006
First California, then Europe, now entry #3, the Griswold family set their sights on Christmas...and the result is a real holiday classic.

Rather than hit the road this time, Clark and Co. stay home and play host to family as part of Clark's vision to have a perfect, fun, old-fashioned celebration of the birth of Jesus. Oh, but don't worry, this isn't a religious movie; It does come around and have a nice message to it though.

Yeah, the movie is very over-the-top, formulaic, cheesy, predictable, and pandering, but it's still a blast, with too many great quotes to rehash, and some truly memorable screwball set pieces.

As far as the cast go, we get the return of Chevy and Beverly, as well as reappearances from Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie and Brian Doyle Murray, who, in the first played the campground clerk, but shows up here as Clark's Scrooge-esque boss. Then there's Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki filling in as Rusty and Audrey, Juila Louis-Dreyfuss as a snotty yuppie neighbor, and my favorites: William Hickey and Mae Questel as Uncle Lewis and Aunt Bethany. As for Clark and Ellen's parents we get E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Diane Ladd, and John Randolph.

Pretty great cast if you ask me.

The writing from John Hughes is quite hilarious, even if on the nose a lot of the time, and the film really ups the ante as far as bawdy content and Christmas films are concerned..well, until Bad Santa, at least.

All in all, this is one of my favorite holiday films, and a deliriously fun comedic romp that everybody should see.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

January 11, 2010
With a powerhouse cast and a hilariously written script by John Hughes, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is the type of holiday film that never fails to make me laugh my ass off. The plot is simple, following a family through the holidays, where every piece of slapstick in the book occurs. The family is loveable and there are many touching moments throughout this film, even though it may seem like the comedy always takes over. This is one of my favourite films that revolve around Christmas. Chevy Chase is fantastic as always, and just makes the Griswold character funnier than he would have been on paper. The gags are fresh, the cast is awesome, and the direction is very well done, for a comedy that is. I love "Christmas Vacation"!
Phil H

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2007
This is the weakest of the three but its still a very good Xmas comedy, probably the best ever really which still tells you allot. It hits all the right cozy Christmas notes and cliches but because its part of the Griswold series and has Chase hamming it up it still comes across as a great family comedy.

It has a nice animated section at the beginning credits and continues with some great slapstick and dialog throughout, nothing too surprising but it works. The Xmas dinner, the house lights (copied by many now) the squirrel in the tree, cutting down the tree, the snobbish neighbours, 'cousin Eddie' etc...there are still some great moments here but you can see how the franchise is slowly grinding to a halt, this just keeps its head above water :)
CloudStrife84
CloudStrife84

Super Reviewer

July 10, 2007
There's no Christmas that goes by without me watching this at least once. I've seen it so many times now, yet it's still as side-splitting as ever. Not only do we all have something we can relate to in it, but it's also the perfect marriage between slapstick and the more intelligent kind of humor. It's my hands-down favourite "Vacation" movie, and also one of my top 3 beloved Christmas flicks, along with Home Alone 1 & 2. From the cat that gets burned into the rug to the white trash antics of Cousin Eddie, there's so much to love about this film that you'll keep coming back for more. A must-see for the holiday season, whether you're a Chevy Chase fan or not.
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2011
Ellen: I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery. 

"Yule crack up!"

Christmas Vacation has been one of my favorite Christmas films since I was five or six. When I was little, I watched the movie so many times that the VHS broke. Now, I still watch it every year and it still has the same appeal for me that it did when I was a kid. It still presents a funny and great portrayal of the Christmas holidays, where family comes together and even if it ends in disaster, it's Christmas, so act happy.

Clarke Griswold has his entire family at his house for a good old fashioned family Christmas. There are endless slapstick scenes and nothing that Clarke does goes right. There's a cat that is burned alive, a squirrel that terrorizes the family and an over done turkey, to name a few of the things that go wrong. Still, Clarke tries to fight through it and make a good Christmas for his family.

This, to me, is still the definitive Christmas comedy. It is a classic and while movies like Elf can be mentioned when talking about the best of the Christmas comedies, this is still king. It mixes dumb slapstick with holiday symbols very well. The greatest example of this to me is when Clarke takes his family to get a tree and when they get there they don't have a saw. So he has to dig it up, roots and all. 

While it isn't great filmmaking, it is fun holiday entertainment. Chevy Chase isn't an actor, but an entertainer. While, he only had a few good movies in his career, this one stands out as the best in my opinion. He is helped by a good supporting cast of characters. You got to love Grandma reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the dinner table when she is supposed to say grace.

Audrey: Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel? 
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

November 24, 2011
For me, Christmas Vacation is a flawless Holiday classic. This is a brilliant, funny film that is a must see holiday film. Christmas Vacation is one of the few films that is still worth watching year after year during the Christmas season. The comedy bits here are very funny, and most importantly memorable. Christmas Vacation has all the key ingredients for a classic holiday film, and the film works well at bringing on the laughs. Chevy Chase delivers his funniest performance in this film, and the rest of the cast, especially Randy Quaid are simply memorable, very funny and is what makes this film simply one of the best Holiday films that I've seen. Christmas Vacation is the type of film that you can rewatch and the comedy elements still remain fresh. What makes this such a timeless film is the fact that showcases a point of which many people dread=spending the Christmas season with family. I think that's the main reason why this film succeeds at being a good comedy, that, and the fact that the film is brilliantly written by John Hughes. Christmas Vacation is a great film that is very funny. As far as Holiday films are concerned, Christmas Vacation remains one of the best films that you can watch. A well acted film with memorable comedic moments that definitely make this film a must see classic film that is impossible not to like.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

August 4, 2011
The Vacationers have taken a brave turn in their series, as CHRISTMAS VACATION is still as farcical as the last two (VACATION and EUROPEAN VACATION), but the first one not to be a road movie. In fact, if you believe that "vacation" is definitively travel, then this maybe should be called "National Lampoon's Christmas Staycation", to use a pun-esque portmanteau meaning a holiday spent staying at home, and also to mislead far less viewers and fans.

NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION is a considerable improvement from EUROPEAN VACATION (the dumbest one of the series until 1997's VEGAS VACATION), but it still isn't as good as the original VACATION (it's been considered by many the best road comedy of all-time!). Within the last few years, I've made a tradition of watching this film every Christmas Eve. It's just that good: it has the spirit, the laughs, and between '89 (its release) and 2011, there hasn't yet been a holiday comedy to top it.

Reelz was airing this on TV on the 22nd of October of 2011 (around the time all the crazy people start their Christmas shopping), and I watched it for my fourth or fifth time. Okay, call me crazy if you wish for watching a Christmas film before Halloween or Thanksgiving has come. My excuse is that there are so many scenes in this film--Christmas or not--that are classic, and it would take at least brain surgery to forget them.
DreamExtractor
DreamExtractor

Super Reviewer

February 28, 2011
Christmas Classic. Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is at it again, this time he invites the family to his house for a family christams, but its just one mistake after another. It was as if I was watching the first Vacation, but with less vulgarity. The jokes are classic and some of the best ive ever seen in a comedy film. The plot is a regular family christmas movie, and the actors are great. One of the funniest christmas films ever.
AJ V

Super Reviewer

September 6, 2010
Another hilarious movie from National Lampoon, following in the adventures of the Griswald family. This one is a Christmas classic, I watch it every year! If you haven't seen it yet, see it next Christmas, I highly recommend it.
movieguru12
movieguru12

Super Reviewer

March 5, 2008
The best Christmas movie ever made! Chevy Chase is too funny! :) I love this movie! :)
michael e.
michael e.

Super Reviewer

December 10, 2010
the movie had some funny moments at the beginning half of the film but the movie didn't get really funny until the last 45 minutes of the film but to me its an overrated Christmas movie, that's not a bad thing but i just think it has too much praise
TheGame90
TheGame90

Super Reviewer

June 26, 2010
No....I'm sorry....Peardad is not funny...
Nicki M

Super Reviewer

November 21, 2007
Really pushing it by this one and ceasing to be funny. I think this is actually worse than the European Vacation, and that is saying something!
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2007
A Christmas classic.
Luke B

Super Reviewer

August 20, 2006
An unstoppable compilation of slapstick moments assembled to show one of the worst Christmases ever. Dead cats, annoying relatives, broken lights, are all utilised to varying degrees of funny. There are a few laugh out loud moments, but these tend to fall victim to earlier, more obvious attempts at humour. There's certainly nothing that can be considered memorable or witty about this film, but it's a decent enough Christmas watch.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

September 25, 2009
This is when they started going on too many Vacations. In fact, I don't think they actually went anywhere!? A sure sign that it had had its day.
Jason O

Super Reviewer

September 14, 2009
Clark Griswold and his family are going to have a different sort of vacation in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." For one vacation in their life, they are not going to do any traveling. Nope, the Griswolds are just going to have a good old time (they wish!) with their family, as they all come to the Griswolds' house to celebrate the best holiday of the year.
I'm a big fan of the National Lampoon series and especially of comedy movies. I have to say, Chevy Chase is one of the best comedy actors of all time, and he does what is perhaps his best performance ever (in my opinion), in "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

Like you would expect it to be, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is brimming over with nonstop laughs. Whether the Griswolds and their hectic family members are being terrified by a squirrel, or whether Clark Griswold is up to his usual clumsy antics, this movie is hilarious to say the least.

If you're a fan of comedy movies AT ALL, and especially if you like Christmas movies, I 101% recommend purchasing "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation." Without a doubt, it is one of the best Christmas comedies ever made. It's a classic that you and your family will want to watch every Christmas for years, decades, and generations to come. NOTE: That was my Amazon review from the year 2001. One of the best Christmas movies and comedies, ever.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2009
My Christmas is filled with ritual, as I guess most people's are. Part of that ritual is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, about which I have nothing but good things to say. This should be part of your Holiday season too, because despite it not seeming like it all the way through, the film as a whole is just so thoroughly festive, cheery and good-hearted.

It opens with a great set-piece, Clark taking his family out in the "front-wheel drive sleigh" to dig their Christmas tree out of the snow-covered ground. He's a desperate loser, but you have to love the guy, working his butt off to give his extended family the perfect Christmas. (That's the difference in this Vacation movie, by the way - the Griswolds don't go anywhere, their folks come to them).

So the shenanigans finding a tree set the pattern for a season of chaos, fighting in-laws, squirrels, stupid relatives, huge dogs, snooty neighbours and collapsing turkeys. And as if that wasn't stress enough for poor Clark, he's waiting for his Christmas bonus to come through to cover a cheque he's already written.

The script brims with festive jollity, enthusing the audience with Clark's excitement for the holidays. Stand out moments include the welcome (and hilarious) return of Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie, the uber-hick sponger with a trailer-full of weirdo kids and rubber sheets, and Mae Questel's appearance as Aunt Bethany. She used to voice Betty Boo, and plays the crazy old woman to perfection.

See this movie. Get it on video. I normally watch it the first time on a miserable October Sunday, when I start to think properly about Christmas. Nothing can replace this movie as the one thing guaranteed to get me looking forward to late December. Fabulous stuff, and as festive for me as tinsel and carols. Cuddle up with this one.
Brian D

Super Reviewer

June 10, 2009
If the cat had 9 lifes he sure spreaded them all.....class
Coxxie M

Super Reviewer

June 4, 2009
i have to watch this every christmas AND thanksgiving with my mom. thaks mom.
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