A bit like any family road trip itself, National Lampoon's Vacation has its fair share of wildly entertaining moments, but also moments that drag on and test your patience. This is a story that's at its best when it's relegated to just the main four members of the Griswold family dealing with their various mishaps: the rest stops involving the Griswolds' extended family, including Clark Griswold's rural cousin Eddie and the batty Aunt Edna, don't fare quite as well, often lingering just long enough to knock the film's pacing out of its groove. Fortunately, the majority of the film deals with the former, which keeps the jokes flowing as smoothly as possible. The antics of the Griswold family are zany enough to allow for humor that more grounded comedy can't account for, but aren't overly unrealistic in order to insure at least some relatability for anyone who's had a road trip gone wrong. Writer John Hughes even take this story down a pretty dark road at times, as Clark's dwindling sense of sanity finally snaps and he unleashes everything that's been pent up inside. It's the tale of the Griswold family, but it's Chevy Chase's movie to run away with, and he doesn't disappoint. Chase finds a good mix of comedy styles, including physical humor and deadpan quips that give his performance a nice variety, and in the scenes that do get a little more serious, he really sells Clark's unwinding mental state. Behind the camera, Harold Ramis doesn't pull any fancy tricks, and still shows room for improvement, but crafts a fun little road trip comedy that's worth a watch.