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
Beverly D'Angelo and Miriam Flynn, who play cousins in the Vacation film franchise, were both born in one of the three major "C" cities of Ohio. D'Angelo was born in Columbus, and Flynn was born in Cleveland. See more »
After Clark opens up the door just after the airbag deploys, you can see filming equipment in the reflection of the station wagon's metal side mirror. 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 »
When originally released in theaters, the song "I'm So Excited" by The Pointer Sisters was present, but quickly withdrawn, having June Pointer's "Little Boy Sweet" replace it; hence why it does not appear on the soundtrack. Mistakenly, the song is credited (as should be) but not featured in the film on VHS or DVD, just when shown on TV. "Summer Hearts" by Nicolette Larson was apart of the original ending to the film, and only remains on the soundtrack. 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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