National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985) Poster

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td5503 September 2002
I'm surprised by all the negative comments - this was the first National Lampoon movie I saw, so I came to it fresh. OK, so it's not a great work of art, but I thought it was side-splittingly funny in places, and cleverly parodies all the national stereotypes that people tend to use.

As a great fan of visual humour, my favourite moment in the film has to be the scene where, having had all their clothes stolen, the family go shopping in a boutique in Italy and emerge on to the street dressed in absurdly over-the-top designer creations. It really is one of the funniest sights I have ever seen in a film. I defy anyone with a sense of humour not to laugh.
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I wondered whatever happened to Jack? :D
Smells_Like_Cheese19 September 2005
OK, was this the best Vacation sequel? No, not really. But it still had a great amount of a laughter. I can't believe that some people really didn't like this film. Don't you have moments where you just want to sit down and laugh? Don't think, just laugh and have a good time with the film? The Griswalds are back and they are in Europe! They have won an excellent trip to London, Paris, Germany(they don't state where), and Rome. Of course they do manage to get into trouble, otherwise it wouldn't be a comedy. Clark still has the "father-knows-best" policy and becomes more obsessed with having a good time with the family than listening to them and their ideas. Ellen has become a famous naked model in Europe because of some undeleted footage that was stolen from Clark on his camera. Rusty is opting for a lot of booty in Europe and Audrey just won't shut up about a not all that boyfriend, Jack.

This movie has non-stop laughter that you have to admit is catchy. They did recycle some jokes from the first, but I think you need to let go and have some fun. This was an enjoyable film.

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Not a vacation to remember
CuriosityKilledShawn14 February 2011
The Griswold's (mis-spelled here as Griswald) European Tour is far inferior to their cross-country trek to Walley World. First time around Clark had a goal, a destination, and pay-off for the audience when he finally got there. Second time around he's just wandering aimlessly from country to country, and it doesn't make for great entertainment I'm afraid.

The Griswold's win the grand prize in a humiliating TV show called 'Pig in a Poke' and are sent to England, France, Germany, and Italy on an all expenses paid trip. The bulk of the humor is a scatter-shot approach to comedy that abuses tired clichés and cultural stereotypes for quick, easy, cheap laughs.

Director Amy Heckerling may have used the first Vacation as a reference, but she doesn't have the control over the film that Harold Ramis did, and frequently allows the actors to ad-lib with the assumption that whatever they do might be funny. Even comedy actors need direction, and Heckerling's poor effort ruins many scenes that had potential. Even her camera placing and angles seem awkward and unbalanced. The grainy, low-key photography is also completely inappropriate for a film featuring such a wide range of scenery. Her use of stock footage is bad too (a shot of the Statue of Liberty shows no Twin Towers of the WTC, which were built in 1972!), and heightens the slapdash nature of the production. A few scenes seem to be edited out of order too, which leads me to believe that the script flowed a little differently before being rewritten (Clark leaves the London hotel, moves literally five feet down the street, then asks for directions back to the hotel).

John Hughes' influence on the script was obviously minimum. Vacation and Christmas Vacation were ficionalised accounts of his own family's experiences. But European Vacation feels like a quick cash-in on the original's success, and co-writer Robert Klane doesn't know how to inject the pathos and satire that was so easy for Hughes.

The European trip is definitely lagging far behind Walley World, Christmas and Las Vegas. A better director and a tighter script would have saved it. But Chase is as watchable as ever, and the only reason to sit through this poorly-made drivel.
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Good sequel, worth watching.
LebowskiT10008 October 2003
I had always thought that "European Vacation" was much funnier than the original "Vacation", until just recently. I watched both films back-to-back and in the end I've got to concede that I like the original "Vacation" more than it's sequel. I think the two films are equally funny, but the first one has a little more originality to it and a slightly better cast. Don't get me wrong though, "European Vacation" IS a funny movie and a very good sequel, but just not as good as the original.

Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo of course, play the parts of Clarke and Ellen Griswold (although spelled "Griswald" in this film for whatever reason) perfectly. The parts of Rusty and Audrey Griswold were re-cast (for whatever reason) with Jason Lively and Dana Hill. I thought Jason Lively was a fine replacement for Anthony Michael Hall, and even slightly resembles him. Although, I was less than impressed with Dana Hill. Not that she did a bad job acting, but more that her character seemed quite different and didn't resemble the original Audrey (Dana Barron) at all. It was nice to see both Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane in the film (both playing very small roles).

"European Vacation" was a good film and a nice sequel, but still not as good as the original. Although, I would strongly recommend you take a look at this film if you liked the original or just like Chevy/Beverly. Chevy Chase is great, as is Beverly D'Angelo, both make the film well worth the time I put in watching it and I hope they'll make your time worth it as well. Thanks for reading,

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An enjoyable fun-movie
raymond-massart23 October 2003
I have seen this movie many times and although it is nearly 20 years old, it still makes me laugh.Europe as experienced by an American family is very funny and even people who are offended by the so-called lack of respect towards the old continent, should agree that the typical characteristics of the English, French, Germans and Austrians are true to life, although admittedly slightly exaggerated.It's an unpretentious movie which aims at offering a better form of slapstick. Chevy Chase with his mixture of good intentions and bewilderment is always hilarious. One good piece of advice: NEVER go to Austria and watch the guys doing those typical male dances in their short leather pants.After having seen this movie, you will be subjected to hysterical laughter!
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Is this movie bad? NO WAY
Pinhead-65 January 1999
I don't understand why people don't like this movie so much. Chevy Chase is there, Beverly D'Angelo is there, Eric Idle is there which is great. Sure, I'd rather see Anthony Michael Hall rather than Jason Lively, but even that's alright, Lively does a decent job. I don't care if people hate this movie, I'm sticking by my beliefs, and I say this movie is great.
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Not as good as the first, not as bad as they say...
Peach-27 January 1999
Although it's not as good as the first film, this sequel isn't as terrible as I've heard people say. There are some very funny moments and this is Chevy Chase's best screen role. The only thing that's ever really bothered me about the Vacation films is that the Griswold's children are always played by different actors. Maybe I'm being picky, but I like continuity once in a while. There is a nice cameo from Eric Idle that was very funny and I liked the spoof of The Sound Of Music. Worth a watch.
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European Vacation: 6/10
movieguy10217 February 2003
`Pig in a Poke' is the newest game show in the US. Families dress up in pig costumes and answer questions. At the end, they can be pigs and win a great prize. And who's starring on it? Why, none other than our favorite family the Griswalds (spelled differently in this one than the others)! After a close competition with resident champions the Froegers, they win a European vacation. Audrey (Dana Hill) doesn't want to leave behind her boyfriend Jack (William Zabka), and Rusty (Jason Lively) just doesn't want to go. They do, reluctantly, but this two week vacation doesn't go without a hitch.

2nd released in the series, and usually considered least of the series, which I go with. Simply, it's not as funny as the others: Vacation, Christmas Vacation, and Vegas Vacation. It tries to be more raucous and irreverent than the others. It doesn't have a central grasp on any one plot. They go across Europe, but there's nothing that connects all of the destinations. For instance, in Vacation there was Aunt Edna; Christmas Vacation, it actually had a real plot, and in Vegas Vacation there were a few subplots, but they all went through.

All that isn't to say that it wasn't funny, it's just not as funny as the other three. As heard from Chevy Chase on the subpar DVD commentary, he wishes to do another Vacation movie. I would like to see that. Many of the laughs came from slapstick and pratfalls, which aren't my favorite types of humor. Some of them were predictable (they go to Stonehenge…guess what?), but some of the gags (like on the train to Rome) were nice.

The MPAA wrongly gave this movie its PG-13 rating. It most definitely should have been rated R. The writers, which include veteran John Hughes, must have tried to keep the humor in the PG-13 range, because they didn't `rough it up' as much as they wanted to.

One last thought: if there was an earlier movie version of Chicago, Beverly D'Angelo would have been perfect as Roxie.

My rating: 6/10

Rated PG-13 for sustained scenes of nudity, sexual situations, teen drinking and language.
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pretty good
jaws!5 August 1999
even though it's not as good as the first,and 3rd it's still pretty good. it's also a bit better than the 4th one. there are some laughs in this movie,and it's entertaining. after this one the series started not to make sense. even though the 3rd vacation is better it has the kids younger,which makes no sense. all in all european vacation is not as bad as people say. i give this movie **1/2 out of ****
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There's chaos ensured with the Griswalds!
lost-in-limbo11 September 2009
The Griswalds' represents family… well they try their best. Anyhow European vacation is the first follow-up to the original Vacation, and this entry directed with infectious verve by Amy Heckerling with John Hughes returning with the simple-minded screenplay (with colorful dialogues) is just as spontaneously fun and is even more goof-ball with its well-timed mad-cap developments descending into holiday havoc and fitting performances of a dysfunctional family that's hard to find not sort of quaintly lovable. A gleaming Chevy Chase boasts a dry, but clownish style and the perky Beverly D'Angelo is lovely as ever. The kids played by Dana Hill and Jason Lively create unhinged and spirited personalities that cement their nagging attitudes. Along for the trip is an amusingly recurring cameo appearance by Eric Idle. Robbie Coltrane shows up and John Astin is enjoyable in his early part in the film too. Throughout the feature they manage to squeeze in some sight-seeing, of a few prominent landmarks and make use of the wonderfully vivid and beautiful European locations than just stemming with the on-going physical gags and slap-stick routines. Why not have both and it's quite an eventful mixture. Sure it's all wacky, low-brow and inane, but it's never aiming to be anything else than to simply poke fun of itself. These films need to catch you in the right frame of mind, so just switch-off and go along with the silly, light-weight and delightful farce.
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A fun movie to see in the New Year.
allyatherton1 January 2016
What happens when a moron takes a road trip around Europe.

Starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill and Jason Lively.

Written by John Hughes and Robert Klane,

Directed by Amy Heckerling.

I chose this oldie to watch on New Year's Eve with my family.

It's a fun movie and kept us entertained while we waited for Big Ben to chime in the new year. We all had a good chuckle and I think we all enjoyed it. I don't know what was funnier, the script or the eighties clothes!

A fun way to see in the New Year,

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Not as Good as the first Vacation,but Still a Ton of Fun,
lesleyharris3020 May 2014
European Vacation is a good movie with a well developed storyline a good comedic cast.I was certainly disappointed by this movie,because after seeing the first one,I thought seeing the Griswolds going to Europe would just be even more fun,but it wasn't,but this movie still is filled with some very funny scenes.Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo are still in good form in this movie,and they are certainly the highlight,they are filled with positive energy and there is great chemistry between the two of them.I found Audrey,who is played by a different actor than she was in the first,was extremely annoying and certainly the worst part,she didn't make me laugh once.European Vacation is certainly disappointing,but fans of the first should still definitely enjoy.

After entering a game show,the Griswolds win a trip to Europe,but while they're there one problem after another comes along.

Best Performance: Chevy Chase Worst Performance: Dana Hill
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Marginally funny vacation
jhaggardjr22 June 2000
"European Vacation" (aka "National Lampoon's European Vacation") is the second movie in the series starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswold, the head of a family that does nothing right when on a holiday. This time, the Griswold's win a trip to Europe after appearing on the game show "Pig in a Poke". Clark and Ellen, along with kids Rusty and Audrey, visit England, France, Germany, and Italy with the usual slapstick results. "European Vacation" isn't quite as funny as the first "Vacation" movie, but it does have it share of laughs. The funniest scene: Chase is forced to dance German-style alongside some German dancers at a festival which turns into a slapstick brawl. Goofy, silly fun.

*** (out of four)
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Even good actors can't move bad material
dvdeugs19 July 2003
I picked this up as a Dana Hill fan, and found it rather depressing. Those who blame the actors for this turkey aren't being fair; the actors to blame are those who could have killed the script - Chevy Chase and possibly Beverly D'Angelo.

Simply put, the material isn't funny. A lot of it is stupid physical comedy, lame jokes and stuff that I wonder why anyone thought was funny, and way too much of the last. (The flight scene in Germany, and subsequent train trip, for example). And they should have gone all the way with the dog, like in UHF.

There are some briefly funny parts in the movie, most of which were the family trying to communicate who didn't speak their language. Eric Idle added a slighly Monty Pythonesque note to the movie, which I found out of place, but was slighly funny.

I'm not to usually blink at vulgarity and nudity, but "Ich weiss nicht doch" is not "Beats the s**t out of me" (the mandatory subtitle) and obsenity is out of character for that particular character. (It's closer to "I really don't know".) There are a number of instances of topless nudity and sex jokes, which would be better excused if they were funny.

If you're looking for a better Dana Hill comedy then European Vacation, I suggest Combat High; if you're looking for a better Vacation movie, Christmas Vacation (my favorite) or the original Vacation are better; Vegas Vacation was a failure.
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Europe may never be the same
disdressed124 January 2010
in this installment of the Vacation franchise the Griswald clan head to Europe,and fun times ensue,especially for the viewer.i thought so any way.i found this second film in the series to be just as funny as the first,which is a pleasant surprise since more often than not a sequel generally goes down in quality from the original.there's one pretty funny running gag,and the jokes are all funny,although sometimes you can see them coming a mile away.but it doesn't matter because they're so funny.this one came out in 1985,and like the first movie,this one stands the test of time.lets hope it stands up to repeated viewings.for me,European Vacation is an 8/10
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Bad foreign relations....
Mister-620 August 1999
Okay, what have we learned from this vacation, class?

1) That the English are lazy and oversexed?

2) That the French are rude to Americans?

3) That the Germans will let anyone into their homes and get into slap fights?


4) That the Italians smuggle stolen goods using unwitting Americans and have very lax driving laws?

No, none of those things. We learned that....

5) Chevy Chase is the LAST person who should travel overseas.

If the first "Vacation" were this insulting to every country on the earth and as criminally unfunny, at least we would have been spared this "European" invasion.

Nothing funny here, unless you think insulting other nationalities is funny. And if you do, shame on you.

One star. And Chevy, hand in your passport.
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As Always, We Apologize, Europe
thesar-219 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Arg. This is the only one of the bunch I had only seen once before, just a couple of years after its 1985 release and even though I was a kid then, meaning I pretty much loved every movie, I hated this one. It must've been really bad for me to dislike it back then…and I can see why now. This was just terrible. It actually took me two attempts to get through this time and I think I snickered once or twice, but never laughed. I don't know they managed to take what worked in the first one and then sh|t all over those ideas. Not to mention, the use of the great "Holiday Road" song was so wrong. It didn't fit and was only thrown in to remind people of a better movie before it. Skip it!
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A Good Sequel!
namashi_124 May 2013
A Sequel to the very enjoyable Vacation, 'European Vacation' turns out to be a good sequel, offering slap-stick humor & non-sense all through. Don't look for logic in here!

'European Vacation' Synopsis: The Griswalds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

'European Vacation' gets it right, as the humor works. Sure, it makes no sense, but again, slap-stick comedies are not meant to be taken seriously. Screenplay by John Hughes & Robert Klane is funny, offering aplenty of ridiculously moments in the goings-on. Amy Heckerling's Direction is ordinary. The Cinematography captures the exotic locales of Europe perfectly.

Performance-Wise: Chevy Chase leads the film with a winning performance. He's in complete form. Beverly D'Angelo is spunky. Dana Hill & Jason Lively are okay. John Astin is passable.

On the whole, 'European Vacation' does work.
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"Favorite Vacation!"
gwnightscream4 August 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Jason Lively, Dana Hill, John Astin and Eric Idle star in this 1985 comedy sequel. The Griswolds are back and in this installment, Clark (Chase), his wife, Ellen (D'Angelo), son, Rusty (Lively) and daughter, Audrey (Hill) win a European vacation after appearing on a game show, "Pig in the Poke." When the Griswolds start making their way through Europe, they get into mishaps and it becomes a disastrous trip for them. Astin plays the game show host and Idle plays an unfortunate bike rider who accidentally gets injured by Clark. This is my favorite in the series and Chevy is great as usual. I recommend this.
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Proves That Sequels Never Equal Great Originals
jbartelone28 February 2010
I will never forget the wit and great comedy of the ORIGINAL Vacation movie! The lines, pacing, and timing of events in that film are outstanding! However, this European Vacation sequel is a major let down.

In this sequel, the Griswalds win a European Vacation on a game show. The problem is that many of the jokes in the film are little more than mild, "ha-ha" laughs. For example, a Flight Attendant on an airplane asks Clark, "Do you want your Coke in the Can?" Clark answers back, "No, I'll have it right here." A few other mildly funny bits put this movie, average at best. No where near the greatness of the original Vacation movie!

European Vacation's humor is strained. As if the writers borrowed all the jokes from the first movie, tried to re-hash a script that had been done before, and relied on a ridiculous slap-stick chase scene sequence toward the end of the picture just to kill time.

Worse, the natural comic standouts like Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie and the original kids who played Rusty and Audrey from the first movie so well are nowhere to be found. Their replacements are not funny, can't act, and just look like they are going through the motions most of the time. There are also a few crude sex jokes and comments that are not only not funny, they are in bad taste.

The Griswald's should have stayed in Wally World. The place that made them legends! Don't join them on this European dreadful adventure. Viewers should re-watch the original Vacation movie in place of this! You'll be glad you did.
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The Mark of a Good Movie
GreggJulian25 January 2010
One of the things that marks National Lampoon's European Vacation as a quality film is the fact that 25 years after its release, you can still catch it on various cable channels on a fairly regular basis. I'll assume this means that it still draws decent ratings, even if a generation has passed. While no masterpiece, this film accomplishes the one thing that much more critically acclaimed films from that era fail to, being watchable. This is the sort of movie that you can watch over and over, a rare but vital quality for any film.

A quality comedy with surprisingly subtle humor mixed in with the usual National Lampoon slapstick. A must have for your collection.
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Decent, but overrated
Jsimpson516 February 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not a huge fan of the National Lampoon films. I enjoyed Animal House, NL's Vacation, and NL's Christmas Vacation. I started watching this film with high expectation, however when it was all said and done, I felt that I was slightly robbed of part of my life.

The film starts out with the Griswalds on a game show where they win the top prize which is a trip to Europe. Once in Europe everything that could go wrong does go wrong.

Some of the acting in this film seemed off. Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo still do their parts very well and the really seem like a real married couple who's been together for a long time. Dana Hill seemed off on her mark and really just came off as a bitchy and love sicken teenager who I found to be annoying at every turn. Jason Lively now takes the role of Rusty Griswald and really missed the mark this time. Jason in my eyes could not capture Rusty as a 15 year old teenager.

There were some good laughs mainly through England and some of the Germany and Rome parts. I wasn't fully crazy for the France part, but it was true about when you butcher someone else's language up and they say stuff and you have no clue what they say. I know it happens here in the United States to, because I've done it before but after I am done talking to the person or they are out of range of hearing me saying stuff.

Some of the jokes seemed forced and don't come off as being very funny. If you love the Vacation films, you can watch it, so that you understand stuff that is referenced in previous films, but you or may not enjoy it.
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Better than the original, but missing the necessary mayhem.
Elswet11 October 2003
Warning: Spoilers
As a sequel, it surpasses its predecessor in quality, but loses the all-out mayhem feeling which was exhibited in the first.

The comedic quality of the second installment of the "Vacation" series is actually more intelligent than the first; hence the vast disliking for it. Fans of movies of this type, and especially the first one, will find that having to think about the punch lines and puns and clever wit in this movie detracts from the comedic effect, for them.

For me, it was quite good, much more intelligent than the first, and more along Chevy Chase's "Fletch" and "Fletch Lives," two of his movies I just love.

Absent, is the original Audrey; replaced by a more "popular" actor of the time, Dana Hill. This just ruins a series for me. Keep the same main characters or don't DO the sequel!! Although, it is possible that Dana Barron was in the process of filming "Heaven Help Us" at the time this movie was filming, as they were released the same year.

Surprisingly the Grizwold's insane romp through Europe includes a plethora of star studded cameos, including a rare appearance by Robbie Coltrane (Harry Potter's 'Hagrid'), Paul McDowell, Eric Idle (Mainly known from his many appearances on Monty Python's Flying Circus and Monty Python and the Holy Grail), and Moon Unit Zappa (daughter of famed rocker Frank Zappa).

Nice scenery and clever wit throughout this comedy lend to the watchability and enjoyment of it. I especially loved the scene at Stonehenge.

Very nice, and better written than the first, though it loses something for me in the absence of Dana Barron, but don't let that ruin it for you.

If you enjoyed the first, you should enjoy this one a little bit better.

Tour the European hot spots with the Grizwolds. And don't forget to take in the sure to be blockbuster hit, "The Wet Hot Wife" included therein.

It rates a little higher than the first at a 6.8/10 from...

the Fiend :.
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The best Rusty is in this film
rickyriff6729 December 2018
This is not my favorite out of the Vacation franchise, but Rusty in this one is funnier than any of the others. Awkward and hilarious- the dream sequence killed me and how he interacts with females. He made me LOL several times and I've seen it many times.
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Some funny stuff here!
OllieSuave-00721 April 2018
There's some funny stuff here while traveling to Europe with the Griswalds. Full of misadventures, slapstick humor, action, and a little raunchy fun. It's wild comedy from the family's European tour from start to finish. A fast-paced plot with some wild acting.

Grade B
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