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The Chicago Traveler

Friday Film: Christmas Vacation

by Matt B on December 22nd, 2007

In honor of the holiday season, today's Friday Film is a Christmas Classic: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This 1989 comedy was the third installment of the National Lampoon Vacation series.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Directed by: Jeremiah Chechik
Produced by: John Hughes
Matty Simmons
Starring: Chevy Chase
Beverly D’Angelo
Juliette Lewis
Johnny Galecki
John Randolph
Diane Ladd
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
All Movie Guide

Chicagoan Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) trips, falls, and continually injures himself while decorating his house and preparing for his visiting relatives, but he still manages to keep his incredible holiday spirit. He is determined to have the perfect Christmas with his family, his wife's parents, his own parents, and his slightly offbeat aunt and uncle. But of course, things never go as planned, and soon Clark finds himself dealing with some unwelcome houseguests'namely, cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her slob of a husband Eddie (Randy Quaid). Despite numerous disasters, Clark manages to keep a smile on his face' up until his long-awaited Christmas bonus comes in. Or rather, doesn't come in. Clark finally loses his temper. However, Cousin Eddie has the 'perfect' gift in mind to help Griswold find his holiday spirit once again.

The movie is classic Chevy Chase, full of humorous sight gags (and scenes of downtown Chicago), but in my opinion it never goes too far over-the-top. It's great for a simple chuckle that makes me feel good, and the film even makes me feel better about my own goofy relatives. I'm definitely not the only one, as Christmas Vacation debuted at #1 at the box office. On television, it was one of the top-rated seasonal specials of '94, outrating even the first network telecast of It's a Wonderful Life.

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POSTED IN: Entertainment, Filmed in Chicago

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