BY CHRISTOPHER STAMM
GUEST MOVIE REVIEWER
National Lampoon’s Vacation
This film is rated R – for language and adult themes
Hi, all. I’m back! Sorry for missing last week. I, like Clark Griswold, grabbed the wife and headed out into the great American lands for vacation.
The family vacation, the annual ritual that goes one of two ways: awesome memories being made or we create stories that we hope one day we will look back on and laugh. There is seldom an in-between.
For Clark Griswold in the classic Vacation, things go wonky, but he struggles through. From Aunt Edna passing away to forgetting he leashed the dog to the bumper, things never seem to go Clark’s way. But as we laugh at his misfortune, he perseveres in the attempt to have the perfect family vacation.
We have all (I assume) seen National Lampoon’s Vacation, so I really do not need to go much more into it other than to say, this movie is hysterical. And at it’s core, Clark is the quintessential family man who does all for his family, and we love him for it.
National Lampoon’s Vacation is a classic that should be viewed before every vacation as a primer and a warning. I watched it before I flew to San Diego to meet up with my wife and then start our vacation road trip back to Merrill. Along the way, we hit 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 did not drive off the road and go airborne like Clark did. But we did see where they filmed it, which was pretty neat.
The misadventures of the Griswold clan are well known, having been memorialized in four films, all of which are worth watching every once in a while (except Vegas Vacation–that was a clunker) .
If you ever get the chance, read the source material for this film–an article that appeared in National Lampoon Magazine entitled Vacation ‘58 written by a then-unknown John Hughes. It is simply hysterical.
National Lampoon’s Vacation is a classic comedy well worth four out of five stars, and it also should serve as a warning to us all–on what not to do on a vacation.
For the record, my wife and I made awesome memories and only one that we hope to look back on and laugh at 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 I have several hundred new gray hairs.