The Front Row View: National Lampoon’s Vacation

The Front Row View is a regular column by Great Stories contributor Jim Cannizzaro.  He is a veteran community theater leading man, seasoned blogger, movie enthusiast, and family man.


June is Bustin’ Out All Over (ok, so it’s only bustin’ out at 47 degrees at the moment). With June, it’s the start of SUMMAH! In honor of this, I’ll be posting my picks for the best summer movies ever made. Today, it’s Harold Ramis’ 1983 National Lampoon’s Vacation. Noted, we’re not exactly talking classical moviemaking here. It has it’s lame moments: the tired subplot with Christie Brinkley, the reshot ending only redeemed by the great John Candy at his most endearing. But Chevy Chase, in his spotty movie career, found one of his best roles as Clark Griswold. He looks more relaxed than usual and doesn’t seem to be trying so hard to be funny here. He puts over enough of the material, much of it quite dark, so that you’re left with a goofy grin on your face. Vacation will never win any awards, but it’s certainly good enough to get you in the mood for summer fun. “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!”


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