BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST FILM CRITIC
National Lampoon Vacation
This movie is rated R: for Mature Language and Themes.
Hello everyone. Now I’m back! Sorry for missing last week. I, like Clark Griswold, grabbed the wife and headed to the great American lands for vacation.
Family vacations, the annual ritual that goes one of two ways: incredible memories are created or we create stories that we hope to one day remember and laugh about. There is seldom a middle ground.
For Clark Griswold in the classic Holidays, things go wrong, but he tries. From Aunt Edna’s death to her forgetting that she leashes the dog to the bumper, things never seem to go the way Clark wants them to. But while we laugh at his misfortune, he perseveres in trying to have the perfect family vacation.
We’ve all (I guess) seen National Lampoon Vacation, so I don’t really need to go much deeper than to say, this movie is hysterical. And at his core, Clark is the quintessential family man who does everything for his family, and we love him for that.
National Lampoon Vacation it is a classic that should be seen before each vacation as a primer and a warning. I saw it before I flew to San Diego to meet my wife and then begin our vacation trip back to Merrill. Along the way, we visited 5 national parks, 2 state parks, and Wall Drug, and drove over 3,000 miles, all in 8 days. Having watched Vacation before we left, I learned what NOT to do from Clark, along with what to do. Although when we stopped at Monument Valley, we didn’t go off the road and get blown up like Clark did. But we did see where they filmed it, which was pretty cool.
The misadventures of the Griswold clan are well known, having been commemorated in four films, all of which are worth watching from time to time (except Vegas Vacation-that was a pot).
If you ever get a chance, read the source material for this movie, an article that appeared in National Lampoon Magazine entitled vacation ’58 written by a then unknown John Hughes. It’s just hysterical.
National Lampoon Vacation it’s a classic comedy that’s worth four out of five stars, and it should also serve as a warning to all of us about what not to do on vacation.
For the record, my wife and I made amazing memories and only one that we hope to remember and laugh about one day. If you see me ask me about driving Highway 6 in Utah through the mountains at night during nighttime construction. For now, all I will say is that I have several hundred new gray hairs.