Weekend Movies: Five Reasons to Watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
I’ll cut right to the chase: I love National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Loved it since the first time I saw it as a kid (it was the 80s. Don’t judge me.). Though you’ve most likely already seen this at least a dozen times, here are five reasons to sit down and watch one of my perrenial favorites this weekend.
|Tee hee hee|
Sometimes, despite our best intentions – especially around the holidays – things don’t just go to hell in a handbasket. That handbasket catches fire and you’re faced with two choices: find the humor in it, or just pretend that it’s not happening and soldier on. Good ol’ Clark (Chevy Chase in all his maniacal glory) thankfully goes for choice B. We’ve all either been there or have witnessed it. It’s a fact of life, and we’re happy that we can laugh at Clark’s misfortune. At worst, you’ve felt that pain, and at best, you pray it never happens to you.
Look at the credits. The music? Yeah, it’s fucking Angelo Badalamenti. The same dude that gave us the score for Twin Peaks, of all things. Never thought I’d connect those two pieces of storytelling, yet here we are. Another fun factor in its DNA? John Hughes wrote it. Really, we needed more of John Hughes. The man knew how to capture awkward slices of being a middle class American. We need that voice again: sarcastic, painfully earnest and funny as all hell. We miss you, John.
Admit it: everyone has lived near at least one asshole he or she could not stand. Clark has Todd (Nicholas Guest) and Margo (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the poster children for dollar-worshipping snobs of the 1980s. From their clothes to the cliches (just look at the way their house is decorated, people), they’re fairly flat characters, but the fun of it is how much Hughes creates them as people we love to hate. Between their clipped barbs and the mishaps that befall them, Todd and Margo are some of my favorite scenes. Yes, it’s schadenfreude. It’s also a helluva lot of fun.
|Admit it: you saw this picture and heard, “I don’t KNOW, MARGO!” in his voice.|
Really, how difficult must it have been to not burst into laughter at some of the points of the film? I will admit right now that I giggle at inappropriate times. If someone gets hurt and I ask if he or she is okay before bursting into a fit of laughter, I consider it a good day. I have no poker face. So when I see an actor or actress that can contain it, I have to give it up and tip the hat. She succeeded in film where I cannot in daily life. Brava, Bev. Brava.
Word play. Flirting. A skimpy outfit. Sounds like a fun day shopping to me. Yes, I’m a pig. But I’m your pig.
|I can’t see the line either, Russ.|