National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s Vacation

**Minor Spoilers**

Rated R, 98 min, Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo

I am not a big fan of Chevy Chase. I thought Three Amigos was a mediocre film and I was not a fan of him in Community. I wanted to fall asleep watching him in Fletch, and he doesn’t seem to do anything besides comedies. I was curious for a while why he is so well known, and then I watched National Lampoons Vacation.

The Griswolds, one big happy family
The Griswolds, one big happy family

The film starts off like any other family travel movie you’ve seen. They have some fumbles leaving the house, and things seem like it will just be another movie with some hijinks and then it will get to some sappy ending. It’s not long before you realize this is an R rated comedy film, and family friendly stuff has been thrown out the window.

The whole film is centered around Clark (Chase) and Ellen (D’Angelo) trying to get their kids to Wally World, a big theme park. Sounds simple enough right? Turns out Clark is a total klutz, and at every opportunity to mess up he does. When the family gets lost in the ghetto and has to ask the local populace for information, I lost it. Guys are literally taking off the rims of the crappy station wagon as they are asking for directions. It is offensive but hilarious at the same time.

I would say that is most of what the movie is. Having situations where things go wrong, and the movie isn’t afraid to be politically incorrect and poke fun. If that isn’t your type of humor, then you will not enjoy this movie. This is one of those comedies that is irreverent but has heart, and keeps you watching the film. It’s not about seeing the family through to their final destination, its how they handle all the road bumps along the way, and there was more than a few scenes that I busted out laughing.

Like anything, this film isn’t without its problems. The humor can be crude and there are parts of the film that can get rather predictable. Most of that is made up by the last sequence, which really doesn’t go how you think its going to go.

I watched this because of the new Vacation movie that is out, and its supposed to be a sequel of sorts. On one hand I want to watch the other Vacation movies, but at the same time I want to hold off for a while so I don’t burn myself out of this sort of thing. This is a great movie, and its nice to watch a light-hearted comedy that focuses more on actually being funny. Too many comedies these days put all the funny stuff in the trailers and leave you feeling dissatisfied. Not this one.

Score: 8.5/10


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