Friday, 19 September 2008

Best Christmas Movies -- National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation has to rank up there with many people's favourite Christmas movies. It's definitely one of my all-time favourites and a multitude of factors combine to make this film a classic of its kind.

Christmas Vacation is widely believed to be the best of the Vacation films and it's a movie that's become traditional family viewing for many around Christmas. Not only is this a laugh-out-loud movie but it also strikes a chord with many of us, with regard to the strains and disappointments that can come about when families -- the the extended family in particular -- gather together for a once-a-year celebration.

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) may be a bit of an incompetent smart-alec and a walking disaster-zone but he means well, loves his family and -- as the host for the family festivities -- he's determined it will all go well. He's even going to use his hard-earn Christmas bonus on a 'surprise' gift of a pool for the family. How could he know that this would be the year that his boss decides to turn into Scrooge?

The great thing about Christmas Vacation is that it stands up to repeat viewing years after year; we've seen all the set pieces before: the squirrel, the lubricated sled, the burning toupee, the trap door incident, the lights fiasco, and everything that cousin Eddie throws at Clerk -- but it all bears watching again and there are usually a few 'hidden' gems to be discovered. And, while it might be Chevy Chase's movie, the entire cast are excellent. The (underestimated) Beverly D'Angelo is perfect in her role as Clerks long-suffering wife and Randy Quaid plays a blinder as the work-shy moocher who unapologetically sponges off the Criswolds and set in motions several kinds of disaters, but who is ultimately loyal to his hosts.

Everything turns out good in the end, though and Vacation has to be considered as one of the ultimate feel-good Christmas movies.

By the way -- it turns out that I'm not the only one who was rather taken with the moose glasses and there's been continuing demand for them since they made their appearence in the movie's egg nog scence. Get them from the original designer at Canadian Moose or at their Ebay Shop.

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