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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 comedy film distributed by Warner Bros. It stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold Jr., Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold, and Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie Johnson. The writer is John Hughes. The director is Jeremiah Chechik.

Clark Griswold wants to give the entire family an "old-fashioned family Christmas". He finds a giant tree and realizes he forgot the chainsaw to cut it down. This is the start of a series of events that seemingly spell disaster for the Griswolds and have them second guessing why they chose to host Christmas at their house this year.

Clearly, the main theme of the film is Christmas with the family and the continuous misfortunes of Clark Griswold in his plan for a good "Griswold family Christmas". Although many of the early mishaps are caused by Clark himself, his dysfunctional family are the reason for the later ones. For example, towards the beginning of the film, Clark has the overambitious plan for the "Griswold family Christmas tree". Not only did he forget his saw but the tree itself barely fits in the living room. Then, of course, there's the outdoor Christmas lights that he has trouble with.

Later on, the grandparents and Cousin Eddie show up. That's when all-out chaos ensues. First, Ellen's mother accidentally locks Clark in the freezing attic before the rest of the family all go Christmas shopping. Next, the senile Aunt Bethany and Uncle Lewis arrive. Bethany unintentionally wraps her cat as a present. It is let out and begins chewing on the tree lights. The poor kitty is fried, leaving a mess of white fur under a chair.

As with most of the Vacation films, Cousin Eddie, portrayed by Randy Quaid, stands out as the main comedic counterpart to Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. While both are well-meaning, Eddie is the simple-minded unemployed cousin who always brings his humorous red-neck ways to counter Clark's constant miscues. Eddie, the uncivilized cousin, and Clark, the civilized but quite accident-prone husband and father, make the Vacation films something to remember.

To wrap, Christmas Vacation is a wild ride full of hilarious antics and crazy characters that will keep the viewers laughing throughout!

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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