Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation arrived six years after the original Vacation and four years after the sequel European Vacation. The first movie, like Animal House in 1978, was the cinematic extension of the edgy, irreverent comedy brand begun in the magazine that provided a stark contrast to old-time comedic standards. These were powered by drugs and sex and the sense of freedom prevailing in youth culture coming out of the 60s and 70s, when the Baby Boom came of age.
In Christmas Vacation we once more follow Clark (Chevy Chase) and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) Griswold, the parents of Russ and Audrey, played in this movie by Johnny Galecki and Juliette Lewis. This time the family is staying close to home instead of traveling elsewhere. But with extended family coming to stay as well as the tensions common to the holiday season, as well as Clark’s tendency to build up expectations while also bumbling through things, it doesn’t mean the chances of hijinks are diminished at all. As with the first Vacation, it was based on a John Hughes short story that first appeared in National Lampoon.