National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a movie from 1989. It is from the National Lampoon vacation series of movies. It stars Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, and Beverly D'Angelo as Ellen Griswold.
Reviews on the film have been mixed. Some fans and critics felt that this was one of the better movies in the Vacation series. Other critics such as Roger Ebert have pointed out a number of flaws in the film that kept them from giving it a higher rating.
The movie begins with Clark taking his family on the search for a perfect Christmas tree. After nearing getting into several traffic accidents, and walking in the woods for a long time, Clark finally finds the perfect tree. His son asks if Clark brought his saw along, at that moment Clark remembers that he forgot the saw. Clark somehow digs the tree out of the ground, and takes it home. Eventually, after breaking several windows, he gets the tree trimmed down so that it would fit in the living room.
As christmas approaches, Clark Griswold's family stay with him. This drives him to go set up the lighting on the house with his son Rusty. He covers nearly every inch of the home's exterior with light. When Ellen finally figures out how to turn the lights on, the lights blind the neighbors, cause the electric meter's dials to start spinning rapidly, and the power plant had to bring an extra reactor on line to meet the extra demand.
On Christmas Eve Clark is very anxious as his bonus check from his company has not arrived yet. His uncle burns the tree down. His uncle's cat kills itself chewing on a strand of Christmas lights. Before opening the bonus check envelope he announces to his family that he is getting a pool installed in the back yard in the spring. But it's not a check - it's a membership in the jelly of the month club. His annoying cousin Eddie then kidnaps Clark's boss, and the boss finally sees reason.
Eddie, in the driveway, is draining the RV's toilet while Clark and Ellen watch from the living room window.
Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn...the clean, cool chill of the holiday air...an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer...
Eddie: Shitter was full!
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?
Ellen: Clark, please. He doesn't know any better.
Clark: He oughta know it's illegal. That's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it.
Clark: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
Clark: Hey. If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is. Hallelujah. Holy shit. Where's the Tylenol?
Roger Ebert's Review