Friday, December 31, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Movies - Christmas Vacation

Spoiler Alert (I've done my part. If you haven't seen this movie and this post spoils it for you, it's your own damn fault) 

 "12 Days of Christmas Movies" just won't die. This post puts me into the double digits with the end almost in sight. What started out as a celebration of holiday cheer has now become a burden of yuletidiness. However I must continue, if for no other reason than there are a few movies left that deserve to be treated with some respect. I will tell you right now, if I was 10 in the can and I hadn't done "Jingle All The Way" and "The Nightmare Before Christmas" I would just say fuck it and retitle all of these posts "10 Days of Christmas Movies". There are some gems left, and I can't forget about them so Ladies, Gentlemen and the fine people of Denmark, Day 10's movie set the amatuer recreational saucer sled land speed record.

Christmas Vacation

Can I get a hell yeah!? You had to know this one was coming. A stone cold classic, the validity of this entire list would be called into question. And rightfully so. Anybody who does a list of the best Christmas movies of all time and doesn't include this should not be allowed to celebrate Christmas. You know what? Take Memorial Day from them too.

The Plot According to j.Bowman:
"Chevy Chase takes holiday optimism to the extreme and as usually, Randy Quaid ruins everything". How this wasn't the tagline for this movie, I will never know. I should start by saying this movie is officially called "National Lampoons Christmas Vacation" but j.Bowman Can't Sleep does not recognize National Lampoons contribution to film after they took something awesome like hockey and added 1 thing it definitely did not need: Bon Jovi.

(Fuck you, National Lampoons)

Chevy Chase plays a character who is neither Fletch nor the one he played in Caddyshack. Normally this would be a recipe for disaster, but it works out pretty well this time and dare I say, you will enjoy watching him in this. He plays Clark Griswold, a family man and eternal optimist who just wants his family to have an awesome Christmas. He also wants a pool. He wouldn't be opposed to scoring with this chick either.

(Ahh, 80s bathing suits)

The Griswold family is all played by familiar faces. Beverly D'Angelo (Babs on Entourage) plays his wife. Juliette Lewis (Mallory sans Mickey) plays his daughter and his son is played by Johnny Galecki who recently won the "Whiniest Sitcom Character" award at the annual "Stop being on T.V." awards.

(He was less whiny as a child. How does that happen?)

At the beginning of the movie we learn that Clark is planning on using his Christmas bonus to put in a swimming pool. He has already put a down payment on it, which nobody EVER mentions unless they are gonna get fucked around later. Seriously, when is the last time you watched something where someone said they had put a down payment on something and everything worked out perfectly ok? It just doesn't happen.

("We just put a down payment on another boat, and that Iceberg over there")

Over the course of the movie Clark's dream of a perfect Christmas is constantly threatened. Although he works hard for it he makes several mistakes. Some of them are human error, some of them are as a result of his excessesive ambition. But throughout the movie you find yourself hoping that things work out for him and his entire fa-


You hear that? It's the entire city of Vancouver turning on Clark Griswold. It's tough to put aside hockey bitterness, but for the sake of the holidays (which are totally going on because in no way is it January 9th right now) I will try my best. It would help if I could find a picture of Alex Burrows attempting a flying roundhouse kick on a Blackhawks player...

(It's a Christmas miracle...for everyone but Brent Seabrook)

Okay, now I feel better. In all seriousness, Chicago had a good hockey team and at least their fans appreciate it (Go fuck yourself Phoenix!). So with his dream of getting that pool firmly in place, Clark kept his spirits high and did everything he could to have a good Christmas. But much like midsummer Alien Invasions and Dennis Quaid's life, everything goes shit side up when Randy Quaid shows up.

(Just made a down payment on his career)

Randall H. Quaid esquire plays Cousin Eddie, who I could only assume spends the entire movie drunk out of his mind. There are very few scenes, if any, where he isn't drinking and it's amazing to see a fine thespian like Randy Quaid just, create a character out of thin air that is such a stretch for him. He also had the sweetest mug in the history of film. 

(The rich, deep history of mugs on film)

So because no Christmas movie works with just 5 people, it starts raining inlaws, grandparents, cats, dogs and squirrels as the Griswold family gathers for their big Christmas dinner and the following awesome things happen:

- A cat chews on christmas lights and gets electrocuted to death.
- An old man burns down the Christmas tree.
- That same old man sets off a gas explosion and goes flying through the air.
- Clark gets fucked over on his Christmas bonus.
- Clark goes on one of the best Christmas rants of all time.
- Cousin Eddie gets shitfaced, kidnaps Clarks boss and delivers him wrapped as a present.

(God dammit Randy Quaid. Stop existing!)

There really isn't that much more I can say about this movie. It rules. But you already knew that. If you didn't know that, then obviously you haven't seen it and should not be allowed to have another Christmas until you do. And if you try, Chevy Chase will find you and put a stop to it.

 (Finding you)

(Putting a stop to it....with a flaming forearm to the face)

What Solidifies It's Status as a Christmas Movie?
Look at that goddamn house and tell me this ain't a Christmas Movie. I dare you!

Key Christmas Moment
Love it.

Key Christmas Quote
(Without a doubt, this might be the BEST quote in any of these movies so far)

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.

Favorite non-Christmas Quote
Cousin Eddie: Remember that metal plate in my head?
Clark: How could I forget?
Cousin Eddie: I had to get it replaced because every time Catherine fired up the microwave I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for half an hour or so.

Xmas Game Ball Goes To.....
Gotta give it to Uncle Louis. He was hilarious AND he survives the hell outta that explosion.

Most Hated Character? 
It's a tie! Clark Griswolds yuppie asshole neighbours played by some dude and....ELAINE!

(Aren't you Evelyn? <--- Anyone who gets that reference rules)

The Movie Wouldn't have happened if...
Clark had died during his ill advised saucer sled landspeed record setting run.

(.......Worth it)

So there you have it. The movie of Day 10 is one of the best on this list and like egg nog or pretending to like presents, Christmas just wouldn't be the same withouth it. Oh, and there is a picture I didn't use because I found it obscene and I didn't want to fucking offend anyone. The picture I refuse to post has highly sexual content for a Christmas article and I didn't realize it until it was almost too late. She is totally grabbing his business.

(See?!.. shit)

The List so Far:
Day 10: Christmas Vacation.

Thanks for Reading


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