No Christmas movie binge-watching would be complete the comedic antics of 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation'! It has pretty much become my #1 all-time favourite Christmas movie. To this day, I still claim it to be the best thing National Lampoon has ever come up with. And that includes a lot of titles!
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is a true family man on his third on-screen adventure ('Vacation', and 'European Vacation' predating it). However, this time it's all about staying home and having a good old fashioned family Christmas.
As Clark's luck would have it, though, the overall dysfunction of the family and the fact that his Christmas bonus cheque is late makes for an overall stressful holiday season.
The plot of the whole thing is basic enough, but I feel like no other Christmas movie can portray the potential stresses of a family holiday in such a funny way. Throughout the film, Clark has to deal with an incredibly harsh Father-in-Law, Christmas lights that won't work properly, a goofy redneck Brother-in-Law, snobby neighbors, a rather odd Christmas dinner, and so much more. There's probably something in here for anyone to relate to along the way.
It's amazing how many times I've actually watched this movie and can still get some great laugh-out-loud results from it. But it's not without that bit of Christmas warmth that a movie like it needs, but it's not enough to bring one to any tears. Directed by the late John Hughes, it's a great balance of hilarity and heart.
There are quite a few names in this one too, including younger Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis as Rusty and Audrey (the Griswold kids), Randy Quaid as Eddie, William Hickey as Uncle Lewis along with his wife Bethany, played by original Betty Boop voice Mae Questel and Julia Louis-Dreyfus as one of the neighbors.
I would only recommend it to watch as a family if a little raunchiness is okay. It's safe enough, I'd imagine, but be forewarned about some colorful language and a very attractive woman who strips on a diving board (although nothing is really shown). But if you're all good with all of that, I'd actually highly recommend this one for a very good Christmas comedy around the holidays that has withstood the test of time in a big way!