Directed by: Jeremiah Chechik
Cast: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Diane Ladd
This 1989 Christmas comedy is directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and the third instalment in National Lampoon’s Vacation film series. The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid, Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki.
With Christmas only weeks away, proud family man Clark Griswold (Chase) is determined to host the perfect family Christmas. It doesn’t take long to convince supportive wife Ellen (D’Angelo) and children Audrey (Lewis) and Rusty (Galecki) that he will have his work cut out with his vision far from reality.
Welcoming the family after a few slight hiccups, including finding a Christmas tree and getting the decorations to work, the Griswolds are united for a good-old-fashioned family Christmas. With bickering in-laws and clashes over who sleeps where things are going as expected.
But when Clark is under pressure to receive his annual Christmas bonus to fund the family swimming pool, and also welcome the surprise of his redneck cousin-in-law Eddie (Quaid) and family, the perfect Christmas soon starts to unravel in a series of chaotic, mad-cap and dangerous events that will test them all in sticking it out together…
From obtaining a Christmas tree out in the wilderness, to wiring up the thousands of decorative lights to the house and scheduling in the Christmas dinner all around the expectant delivery of his annual work Christmas bonus, events all seem to take an upside downturn and it just makes the family more determined than ever to soldier through and really make this Christmas the greatest ever!
Set around the Griswold home, this could be the greatest Christmas film ever. No need for fantastical special effects, sweeping magical stories or epic adventures; this is a film we all can relate to and provides all of the warm humour and comedy from situations we have experienced in setting up for the Christmas season, which is why it works so well. The Griswold’s are a likeable bunch and they invite you in from the start to share the holiday with them and experience every annoyance, irk and frustration we too have had over the years.
Working in the film’s favour as always is the straight delivery of some classic lines from the actors as they create the most memorable American family since the Walton’s, and they work together so well with a great festive script to seal the deal.
This is my perfect Christmas film for all the right reasons and with crackling comedy and a feel-good festive message running throughout, this is one you can’t help but love to re-watch every year and be thankful your Christmas holiday isn’t as disastrous as the Griswold’s.