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National Lampoon's Vacation

Where to Watch National Lampoon's Vacation

R
1983

National Lampoon's Vacation is an iconic American road trip comedy film, directed by Harold Ramis and released in 1983. With a screenplay penned by John Hughes, the film is a boisterous and jocular slice of 80s Americana with a boisterous ensemble cast led by the comedic genius of Chevy Chase in his prime. The movie also stars Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, and Randy Quaid.

The film focuses on the Griswold family and their mishap-ridden drive across the country as they endeavor to spend a much-anticipated vacation at the famous amusement park, Walley World. Although filled with great expectations and summery enthusiasm, their journey quickly turns into a series of comedic calamities that only escalate as they traverse from their home in the suburbs of Chicago and across the country.

Chevy Chase assumes the role of Clarke Griswold, the well-meaning although often hapless, patriarch of the Griswold family. He's committed to giving his family the quintessential American vacation, and the comedic mishaps that befall the Griswolds often come as a result of his over-ambitious attempts to create lasting family memories. A perfectly 'good-guy' parent on an adventure, Chase effortlessly brings to life the everyday man confronted with the ceaseless wave of challenges.

Beverly D'Angelo stars as Ellen Griswold, Clarke's patient and tolerant wife who tries to keep the family grounded amid chaos. She supports her eager husband while managing their two groomy teenagers, played by Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron. D'Angelo's portrayal of Ellen adds a touch of grace and grit to the escalating folly of their journey, injecting both humour and heart into the film.

Imogene Coca also gives a memorable performance as Aunt Edna, further dialing up the hilarity quotient of the film with her eccentric character take, while Randy Quaid provides additional comic relief as the rough-and-ready Cousin Eddie. Their appearances add greater depth and amusement to the film, making it a truly ensemble affair.

National Lampoon's Vacation draws its charm from its depiction of the all-too-familiar family vacation—filled with unwieldy travel schedules, bizarre experiences and unexpected surprises. Even amidst the increasingly disastrous situations, the film maintains a wholesome essence, often reminding the audience of the ties that bind families together. At its core, it offers a comical, wide-eyed take on the Griswold family's relentless pursuit of a perfect family getaway.

Director Harold Ramis, known for his command over the comedy genre with classics such as Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day, brings his signature touch of humor to the film. He masterfully weaves the various incidents into a cohesive narrative that keeps the audience engaged. The laughs are consistent, the characters relatable, and the scenarios, while exaggerated, are not completely outside the realm of possibility, making it a comedy film that still resonates decades after its release.

John Hughes' script also deserves mention. Hughes was a filmmaker known for creating some of the greatest teen comedies and family-centric films of the 80s and 90s. His story in National Lampoon's Vacation is expertly written, infusing the right mix of humor, mishap, and clever conversation.

On a visual level, the film serves as a nostalgic road-trip through 1980s America, featuring iconic landmarks like the Grand Canyon and Route 66. The cinematography underscores the sprawling, diverse landscapes that form the backdrop to the Griswold’s cross-country journey.

The music only adds to the film's charm with its nostalgic 80's soundtracks and original scores that set the tone for the on-screen shenanigans. The catchy, spirited theme song, "Holiday Road" by Lindsey Buckingham has since become a pop culture classic and is instantly recognizable to any fan of 80s cinema.

In conclusion, National Lampoon's Vacation is a boisterous, hilarious, and somewhat bittersweet comedy that brings the chaos and joy of family vacations to the audience with great aplomb. The outrageous scenarios, well-delivered comedy and dynamic performances make it a classic film in American comedy cinema. The film's appeal has proven timeless and it continues to entertain generations of audiences around the world with its infectious humor and endearing characters. National Lampoon's Vacation is a delightful comedy-adventure and a quintessential 80s film that showcases the laughs, blunders, and eventual togetherness of a family vacation.

National Lampoon's Vacation is a Comedy, Adventure movie released in 1983. It has a runtime of 99 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.3. It also holds a MetaScore of 55.

How to Watch National Lampoon's Vacation

Where can I stream National Lampoon's Vacation movie online? National Lampoon's Vacation is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon Prime, Philo, The Roku Channel, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent National Lampoon's Vacation for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

7.3/10
55/100
Director
Harold Ramis
Stars
Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Randy Quaid, Imogene Coca
Also starring Beverly D'Angelo
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