This holiday season marks the 30th anniversary of John Hughes’ legendary Christmas Vacation. Despite numerous straight to DVD and streaming holiday comedies, The Griswold’s and their outrageous adventures still reign supreme among Christmas movies.
While Clark Griswold is a lovable family man and fan-favorite character, Chevy Chase himself has a reputation for being… difficult. John Hughes had to let go of Director Chris Columbus because Chevy Chase refused to take his direction. Don’t worry about Columbus though, he went on to direct Hughes’ other holiday film–that small little movie called Home Alone. Despite the behind the scenes drama, Christmas Vacation struck comedy gold with its timeless humor and relatability by capturing four themes many of us can relate to around the holidays.
The Pursuit of Perfection
The pressure of providing the perfect holiday experience plagues parents every year. From the perfect wrapping paper surrounding the perfect gift sitting under the perfectly decorated Christmas tree, the pressure to have a holiday that resembles a Lexus commercial can be overwhelming. Clark Griswold’s obsession with getting things just right is an excellent demonstration of the stress Americans endure around the holidays. More often than not, we wind up forgetting the true meaning of Christmas, celebrating with the people we love.
Speaking of the ones we love, our family often tops the list of those we love but don’t always like. Spending the holidays with the people you avoid the rest of the year, clashing personalities, and absurd in-laws… It’s all part of the package. Randy Quaid, William Hickey, and Mae Questel give genius performances as the wacky family that tug on your heartstrings. They are crazy, but you love them anyway.
We’ve all that one boss. The narcissistic cheapskate who happily ruins the holidays for the poor bums who work for him. While most families aren’t planning on buying a pool, they are often relying on their Christmas bonuses to help pay down their mortgage, pay for college tuition, or just keep up with life’s essentials. Griswold’s complete breakdown after being let down and overlooked…again… is hilariously relatable.
From slapstick humor and angry rants to accidental cat murder and senile elderly, comedy legends came together with exquisite timing to create some of the funniest moments in comedy history. Here is one of my favorite scenes of all time…
Happy Holidays from Crew Connection!
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