The Griswold family are on a quest. A quest to a Walley World theme park for a family vacation, but things aren't going to go exactly as planned, especially when Clark Griswold is losing all thought towards a mysterious blonde in a red Ferrari.Written by
In the scene where the Griswolds first stop for directions in downtown St. Louis, a bar called "Ron Frazier's Downtown Bar" can be seen in the background. Ron Frazier is an uncredited Propmaker Foreman on the film. See more »
During the opening credits postcard montage, one of the cards shows a billboard advertising "Gatorland Zoo, 6 miles away", and the post card heading mentions the billboard was photographed at St. Augustine, Florida. Gatorland Zoo is located in Kissimmee, Florida, which is over 120 miles away from St. Augustine. A few postcards later, another card appears from Gatorland Zoo, depicting the "alligator mouth" entrance, and that card is correctly headlined as Kissimmee, Florida. See more »
During the credits, you see snapshots of group photos of where and who the Griswalds met on the vacation. The last photo shows you how they got home, on a plane. See more »
In the 2003 DVD, "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters has been taken out from the scenes where The Girl In The Ferrari is driving alongside Clark. Instead, "Little Boy Sweet" (which was originally in one scene of the film) replaces "I'm So Excited". See more »
"Getting there is half the fun", says bland family man Clark, head of the bland suburban family, the Griswolds. He's rationalizing why the family will drive from Illinois, instead of fly, to Wally World, a moose-centered family amusement park in California. What makes this film enjoyable is that the Griswolds are so typical of banal American suburban family values.
Clark (Chevy Chase) is a good-natured sap, gullibly idealistic, and conforming. His meek wife (well played by Beverly D'Angelo) looks up to Clark. Their two teenage kids are dull blockheads, patterned after their dull parents. The boy wears ugly dental braces.
Their mode of travel is a prehistoric, humorously ugly, putrid green station wagon with cheesy brown panels. The Griswolds blast off with unlimited optimism and good-natured anticipation of the fun they will have at Wally World. But the optimism gradually fades and is replaced by grim determination after a series of on-the-road disasters that make a mockery of idealism.
The film's humor lies in its absurd plot situations, and in the dialogue. At a cookout, a down-on-his-luck Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) treats the Griswolds to backyard burgers, then remarks to Clark: "I don't know why they call this stuff hamburger helper. It does just fine by itself".
Casting is appropriate. Overall acting trends humorously exaggerated, consistent with the satire. Performances by Imogene Coca and John Candy add to the comedy. The bouncy song "Holiday Road" opens the film with a series of vintage American postcards in tandem with the opening credits.
My only reservation is that some of the plot contrivances are a bit over-the-top. The writers seem to be trying a little too hard.
"Vacation" is a satire on the banality of the traditional American summer ritual, and therefore thematically rich. Production values are fine. Though not perfect, this film is worth watching.
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