Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Thoughts ‘13—National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) ****

PG-13, 97 min.
Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Writer: John Hughes
Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, John Randolph, Dianne Ladd, E.G. Marshall, Doris Roberts, Randy Quaid, Miriam Flynn, Cody Burger, Ellen Hamilton Latzen, William Hickey, Mae Questel, Sam McMurray, Nicholas Guest, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Nicolette Scorsese, Brian Doyle-Murray

So, Ed Helms has been cast to play the lead in Warner Bros. reboot of the “Vacation” movies. Rumor is he won’t be taking the role of previous patriarch of the Griswold clan, Clark, made famous by Chevy Chase. Instead Helms will be playing Rusty, Clark’s ever changing son from film to film, played in “Christmas Vacation” by Johnny Galecki of “The Big Band Theory” and in the original “Vacation” by Anthony Michael Hall.

I would assume this means that Rusty has grown and will now become the patriarch of his own Griswold family outings, influenced heavily by his upbringing under the tutelage of Clark. Hopefully, this also means that the filmmakers will find room for Chase to return as Clark to give his son much needed misguidance. If they’re smart, they will have pictures of Rusty’s upbringing included somewhere in the movie, which will have a different actor as the character in each photograph.

I do hope they do the series justice, or at least the original “Vacation” and “Christmas Vacation”, as they are really the only two successful “Vacation” films so far. John Hughes penned one of his amazing observationally humorous scripts that perfectly captures the torturous experience of a big family Christmas gathering in the third film of the series. It includes some of the greatest laughs of any holiday comedy made. That makes for a tall order for Helms and company.

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