Run-time: 1 hour, 38 minutes
Directed by: Harold Ramis
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall & Dana Barron
Viewing this film actually goes against my DVD Challenge a little bit in that I had never seen National Lampoon's Vacation before watching the DVD this morning. A friend had two copies of the film, so she asked me if I'd like one, and I quickly said yes. Technically, I should be doing one of my "reviews" for this flick, but I'd ultimately end up doing another post like this at some point down the line, so I figured I might as well just get this one out of the way right now.
Road trip movies are always a little bit of fun, but they can become a little bit stale. However, despite it being nearly twenty years old, Vacation doesn't ever disappoint, even if a lot of the humor is a little bit childish. To be fair, a lot of National Lampoon flicks tend to be a little dorky, so I'm sure this fits right into that particular vein. We're basically given the road trip from hell where absolutely nothing can go right for the Griswold family as they make their way to Walley World. They have to traverse over thousand miles of the American countryside to make their way to California, and what a bumpy ride it is. Fortunately, it's chalk full of laughs along the way.
The acting is probably the selling point of this film considering the storyline is relatively standard. Chase's manic energy is so pitch-perfect that it's hard not to smile at everything he says and does. D'Angelo and the kids are also very good, but we've also got some great supporting performances and cameo roles that should be mentioned. Be on the lookout for the likes of Randy Quaid, Eugene Levy and John Candy.
On a personal note, I love the ongoing reference to the Walt Disney Corporation through the concept of Walley World. It's a pretty obvious analogue for Anaheim's Disneyland, and the central character (Marty Moose) is definitely a play on Mickey Mouse. Even Walley World's owner Roy Walley is a play on Walt and Roy Disney. As a huge Disney fan, I couldn't help but laugh at the ongoing gag.
Overall, I'd have to say that National Lampoon's Vacation is definitely worth a watch for some mindless fun. I know I'm glad that it's now a part of my personal DVD collection as I'm sure I'll be watching it again in the future.