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  • Writer's pictureStephen Yanni

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) - Deck the Halls with Laughs and Chaos

Rating: ★★★★(4/5 stars)

Released 12-01-1989

Watched 12-25-2023

Reviewed 12-27-2023

Watched on Max



"I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club. 17 years with the company. I've gotten a Christmas bonus every year but this one."


"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is a delightful excursion into the chaotic and often hilarious world of holiday family gatherings. While it's certainly not high-brow art, this film embraces its low-brow comedy roots with a festive spirit. If slapstick humor isn't your cup of tea, you might want to pass on this one. However, for those in need of a good holiday chuckle, "Christmas Vacation" hits the mark.


The film thrives on the absurdity of family dynamics during the holidays, perfectly capturing the mix of love, frustration, and inevitable mishaps that come with the season. Chevy Chase's portrayal of Clark Griswold, the ever-optimistic and often clumsy patriarch, is both endearing and uproarious. His relentless pursuit of a perfect Christmas leads to a series of comedic misadventures that are both relatable and wildly over-the-top.


The supporting cast adds to the mayhem with memorable performances, each character bringing their own brand of humor to the chaotic holiday scene. From the obnoxious yet lovable Cousin Eddie to the dry wit of Ellen Griswold, the film's characters are as colorful as Christmas lights.


One of the film's greatest strengths is its ability to blend slapstick comedy with moments of genuine warmth. Amidst the laughter, there are touches of real sentiment that resonate with anyone who's ever navigated the highs and lows of family gatherings.


In summary, "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is a holiday staple for those who enjoy their comedy with a side of slapstick. It's a film that doesn't take itself too seriously and invites its audience to do the same. So, gather the family, grab some eggnog, and prepare for a joyous ride filled with laughter and holiday spirit.

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