National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Rotten Tomatoes

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: While Christmas Vacation may not be the most disciplined comedy, it's got enough laughs and good cheer to make for a solid seasonal treat.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

This is the third in the "National Lampoon" series about the Griswold family. In this sequel, the Griswolds must deal with a holiday with their in-laws.more
Rating: PG-13 (N/A)
Genre: Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: John Hughes
In Theaters:
On DVD: Nov 18, 1997
Runtime:
Warner Bros. Pictures

Cast

Chevy Chase
as Clark Griswold
Beverly D'Angelo
as Ellen Griswold
Juliette Lewis
as Audrey Griswold
Johnny Galecki
as Rusty Griswold
Diane Ladd
as Nora Griswold
John Randolph
as Clark Griswold Sr.
Mae Questel
as Aunt Bethany
William Hickey
as Uncle Lewis
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
as Margo Chester
Nicholas Guest
as Todd Chester
Miriam Flynn
as Catherine
Brian Doyle-Murray
as Frank Shirley
Keith MacKechnie
as Delivery Boy
Natalia Nogulich
as Mrs. Shirley
Tony Epper
as Bozo #1
Hank Hooker
as Bozo #2
Alexander Folk
as Swat Officer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Critic Reviews for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (6)

In National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, Chevy Chase's family Christmas tree is a little full with a lot of sap, much like this movie. But it's a big-hearted fullness and it's a smoothly stirred sap.

Full Review… | December 2, 2014
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Solid family fare with plenty of yocks.

Full Review… | November 27, 2007
Variety
Top Critic

The new film does little more than reintroduce these familiar characters (with new actors playing the children, who would otherwise be college age by now) and let them get on one another's nerves in earnest.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

One of the great unanswered questions in Hollywood is how Chevy Chase still gets work.

Full Review… | February 13, 2001
ReelViews
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Christmas Vacation may not be a fancy package, but it is a diverting stocking stuffer.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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.

cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

½

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"!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

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 :)

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Quotes

Ellen Griswold: Clark, I think that it would be best for everybody if they all just went home...before things get any worse.
Clark W. Griswold Jr.: WORSE? How can things get any worse? Take a look around you Ellen! We're at the threshold of Hell!
– Submitted by Andrew D (3 years ago)
Clark W. Griswold Jr.: [as company execs walk by] Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.
– Submitted by Cody H (3 years ago)
Todd Chester: Hey Griswold! Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark W. Griswold Jr.: Bend over and I'll show you!
– Submitted by Cody H (3 years ago)
Clark W. Griswold Jr.: 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?
– Submitted by Nik M (3 years ago)

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