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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Old 12-21-20, 12:12 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

I think itís a fun movie. Not sure if I would say itís overrated necessarily. Itís a Christmas staple, and while itís pretty over the top I still do enjoy it.

In terms of the Vacation series though Iím not sure if itís my favorite. Iíve always liked Vegas Vacation the best personally. The original is really good too.
Old 12-21-20, 01:37 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

^ Itís funny because I love Christmas Vacation but if I were to watch the ďVacationĒ movies on any random day throughout the year, I probably wouldnít include CV. It doesnít necessarily feel like a typical ďVacationĒ movie and works perfectly fine as a stand alone Holiday flick.

The original Vacation is the best, and one Iíve watched every couple of years since I was a little kid, and Vegas Vacation, while not as good is still a lot of fun (and has, hands down, the hottest Audrey). European Vacation is shit and Iím not sure Iíd even bother sitting through it again.

Ive never bothered watching Christmas Vacation 2 and by all accounts itís cheap Direct-to-Video garbage.
Old 12-23-20, 03:44 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

I just watched this again for the first time in a long time. And I used to find it just a silly and hilarious movie. Now I sadly found myself being able to relate to Clark Griswold a lot more than I would like to. He's a much more sympathetic character once you yourself grow up and becomes that dad just working hard trying to make a nice Christmas for your family and realizing how much work it really is to give your family a nice Christmas. It's still hilarious just a little bit more relatable now.
Old 12-23-20, 02:33 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by Daytripper View Post
Kind of stunned that some find nothing funny about this movie. So many great characters. And so many great lines. ďIs Rusty still at in the Navy?Ē alone is one of my favorites.
William Hickey's dialogue alone is worth the price of admission.

"You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant!"

He was actually just over 60 when they filmed the movie. With his voice and face and his ability to play cantankerous really well, he was always able to play characters much older than he was.

Old 12-23-20, 05:07 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

I watched it beginning to end, for the first time, when it played at a local theater five-or-so years ago.

Not overrated. Perfect pacing. Perfect comedic timing and editing. No sluggish or wasted moments.

It's very friendly, with just a slight edge. It doesn't quite have that cruel wit that is common now, with shows like Family Guy. It had just a slight edge for its time.

Strange seeing Randy Quaid in anything before he went nuts.
Old 12-24-20, 12:39 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Love all the Vacation movies, especially this one. Tons of memorable characters, lines, and moments that just seem to never get old to me. We try to watch it at least once every December.
Old 12-26-20, 10:57 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Nope. Itís got some hyperbole and silliness but it all feels just within the realm of the possible that itís still relatable.

We watch every year and it never gets old.
Old 12-26-20, 11:50 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

I just watched this all the way through for the first time this week. How did the police at the end know to go to the Griswold's house?

Last edited by windom; 12-27-20 at 12:30 AM.
Old 12-27-20, 12:22 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by windom View Post
I just watching this all the way through for the first time this week. How did the police at the end know to go to the Griswold's house?
I actually thought about that during this last rewatch and I can only think that the guys wife called the police quick enough that some patrol officer saw the RV and trailed it to the neighborhood then called in the reinforcements.
Old 12-27-20, 12:07 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by milo bloom View Post
I actually thought about that during this last rewatch and I can only think that the guys wife called the police quick enough that some patrol officer saw the RV and trailed it to the neighborhood then called in the reinforcements.
Also keep in mind that Eddy would be dumb enough to mention Clark Griswold by name while he was kidnapping him.
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Old 12-27-20, 02:14 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - When did this movie become so popular?

Originally Posted by jeffkjoe View Post
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.

I'm a fan of the VACATION series, but I'm surprised how much this sequel....this SECOND SEQUEL....has become such a Christmas classic in the years since.


It's almost 20 years later, and this STILL gets an annual showing on NBC.

How did this happen?


When did this movie become so popular?
I will never understand the enduring popularity of this movie, or how it's even liked at all. I saw it in theaters in 1989 and hated it. Didn't watch it for nearly 30 years and decided to give it another shot to see if maybe I was wrong and the movie had endearing values.

Nope. Still hated it. It's an entire witless, hamhanded, hackneyed piece of work.
Old 12-27-20, 02:25 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

It's one of my favorites and found myself laughing in anticipation of most of the jokes about to happen. Absolutely a classic and my teenage kids watched it and enjoyed it as much as I did.
Old 12-27-20, 07:42 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Old 12-27-20, 07:45 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

NBC does not air it every year

Another network or service probably has had the rights for the last decade or so.
Old 12-27-20, 07:49 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

And the statement about NBC was made more than a decade ago...
Old 12-27-20, 08:04 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

AMC played it numerous times this year.
Old 12-27-20, 09:04 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Like many "classics," cult, seasonal, or otherwise, the parts are better than the sum. Lots of good stuff here but overall it's got its issues. The major issue is the pacing. It's one of those sorts of movies where, even with the Advent calendar countdown, it meanders from scene to scene. It's more a Tableau of the season (A Christmas Story is guilty of this, too), and the only narrative is when Eddie goes to get the boss. Even that doesn't have a clear throughline and things sort of happen when they happen. I grow weary of movies where a story doesn't unfold but rather things just happen to people. Boyhood is kind of like that, too.

All of that said, my spouse and I got our matching ugly Christmas sweaters that say "Why is the floor all wet, Todd? and "I don't know, Margo!" and our young kids think it's the greatest clothing combo of all time.
Old 12-27-20, 10:16 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by story View Post
All of that said, my spouse and I got our matching ugly Christmas sweaters that say "Why is the floor all wet, Todd? and "I don't know, Margo!" and our young kids think it's the greatest clothing combo of all time.
Ha, my wife got us t-shirts with that on it a couplemof years ago.

As for me, I could give or take the first half of the movie, but love it once Cousin Eddie shows up.
Old 12-28-20, 09:02 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Christmas Vacation is a farce, a live-action cartoon. It starts with a relatable scenario (getting Christmas tree, hanging lights, having relatives you don't necessarily like over), and then escalates them to 11, with a lot of slapstick thrown in for good measure.

That said, the movie's scenes are interconnect. Take the Christmas tree saga. First they get one, then the dog drinks the water out of the base, which dries it out, then the Uncle burns it down with the cigar, then Clark cuts down a pine from the yard (breaking the neighbors' window, one of many aggressions against them), then there's a squirrel still in the tree that runs loose around the house, finally jumping out the open front door onto the neighbor that was coming over to confront Clark. The final squirrel chase scene doesn't work without all the other scenes establishing and gradually escalating the scenario. A squirrel jumping out of your Christmas tree isn't very relatable, but a dog drinking the Christmas tree's water is.
Old 12-28-20, 09:50 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

^ Agreed. I mentioned in the A Christmas Story thread how relatable the Christmas morning scenes are to me since they are exactly like the ones I had as a kid. I canít say any of the particular scenes in Christmas Vacation are relatable to me (Iíve never had a dog and cat tear apart my house during Christmas Eve dinner. Iíve never been waiting on a Christmas bonus to arrive, etc.). Itís the characters that are relatable, and yes, theyíre taken to cartoony heights but theyíre still relatable. We all have the grandparents who are living in their own worlds, the cousin/uncle who the black sheep of the family, the in-laws who nitpick everything about your house, etc.
Old 12-28-20, 10:32 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by story View Post
Like many "classics," cult, seasonal, or otherwise, the parts are better than the sum. Lots of good stuff here but overall it's got its issues. The major issue is the pacing. It's one of those sorts of movies where, even with the Advent calendar countdown, it meanders from scene to scene. It's more a Tableau of the season (A Christmas Story is guilty of this, too), and the only narrative is when Eddie goes to get the boss. Even that doesn't have a clear throughline and things sort of happen when they happen. I grow weary of movies where a story doesn't unfold but rather things just happen to people. Boyhood is kind of like that, too.

All of that said, my spouse and I got our matching ugly Christmas sweaters that say "Why is the floor all wet, Todd? and "I don't know, Margo!" and our young kids think it's the greatest clothing combo of all time.
My wife has a "Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal" sweatshirt she wears every year but we may have to get these. I'd love to get them for my brother Todd but his wife is not named Margot unfortunately.
Old 12-28-20, 03:24 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by story View Post
Like many "classics," cult, seasonal, or otherwise, the parts are better than the sum. Lots of good stuff here but overall it's got its issues. The major issue is the pacing. It's one of those sorts of movies where, even with the Advent calendar countdown, it meanders from scene to scene. It's more a Tableau of the season (A Christmas Story is guilty of this, too), and the only narrative is when Eddie goes to get the boss. Even that doesn't have a clear throughline and things sort of happen when they happen. I grow weary of movies where a story doesn't unfold but rather things just happen to people.
That's how a lot of 70s/80s comedies operate, though. They're a collection of set pieces with a slim plot thread holding them together. Animal House, Porky's, Revenge of the Nerds, the first two Vacation films, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, etc. Dazed & Confused was sort of the last hurrah of these types of films, bringing the whole thing full circle. I guess it's probably the National Lampoon model, where it's a collection of short stories/pranks.

I always had a soft spot for these types of movies, probably having grown up on them. I don't really like comedy movies that are too plotty. More recent ones, like There's Something About Mary and the Hangover films, sort of skirt the line between pranks and plot.
Old 12-29-20, 05:21 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

One of my favorite parts of the movie is the intro song.


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Old 12-29-20, 01:24 PM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Originally Posted by TomOpus View Post
One of my favorite parts of the movie is the intro song.

It's a surprisingly well-crafted song for a movie intro over an animated sequence. It even comes up in Pandora Xmas music mixes and I don't want to skip it or thumbs-down it.
Old 12-31-20, 01:19 AM
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Re: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation - Overrated?

Love the movie.
New FORD Mustang commercial with the Griswald Family.


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