So I'm trawling through several horrible Christmas movies, trying to find the defining list, and I realised how could I leave this out? It's the best out and out Christmas comedy there is and perhaps the most realistic depiction of a family Christmas there is.It also happens to be the best National Lampoon movie made.I know that's rather like saying syphilis is the best STD to contract, but it also happens to be very funny.
Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase) is trying to organise the perfect family Christmas just like his father did.Unfortunately he's not counting on both sets of in-laws arriving for dinner. Or his slobby cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his trashy family, complete with slobbering dog, Snot.
The best thing about 'Christmas Vacation' is that it never grosses out and comes out across as cheeky rather than smug. The performances by Chase, D'Angelo and Quaid are good examples of comic timing and a reminder of how funny they actually once were.
Granted, they're hardly in the genius category but this proves that give them a decent script and they know their way around a punchline. Likewise director Jeremiah Checick. Who knew that 'The Avengers' would be around the corner? This shows that maybe he should stick to comedies as he keeps things ticking over nicely and never lets the pace flag.
There's no major surprises in the script, but anyone who's ever had a massive family gathering should recognise at least some of the predicaments here,be it senile relatives and their inappropriate gifts or being forced to share a bed with a younger sibling.
And again for every joke that doesn't come off, there's 5 that do and provoke repeated laughs, the uprooted Christmas tree, Eddies trailer "The shitters full!", Clarks power station threatening lights and so on.It may be forgotten when it comes to Top 50 lists of comedys, but it's consistently funny, a mini-classic of it's kind and a re-watcher when it comes to Christmas.