Oh, Hollywood times must be tough. You’re remaking so many classic eighties comedies. I’m not mad at you though, some I look forward to, and some I don’t. That being said I’m not going to jump to the dramatic conclusion that whatever you remake will ruin my childhood. It won’t because my childhood was already ruined by Large Marge in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. To whom shall I send my therapy bill for that?
As you have heard by now, in late July a new National Lampoons Vacation will be released to a new generation. The original film is a classic and personal favorite of mine and my sisters. In fact I might be able to recite it line for line. I can probably even do the same for Christmas and European Vacation, it's a talent don't be jealous. My ex step-sister turned friend (long story) introduced a young me to Vacation, I don’t remember my age but I remember her telling me not to tell our parents. It took me a while to understand why I couldn't tell our parents, but I quickly got the hint. It's definitely not a family film, unless your family is like super progressive and super cool. Almost instantly I fell in love with the opening credits and song. The song was ‘Holiday Road’ by the great Lindsey Buckingham.
I knew I would like this movie because my Father was kind of like the black Clark Griswald (bless his heart) he loves nothing more than a family road trip. My sisters and I were subject to many of them. Some planned some not. They always ended in a couple of days of mandatory silence between siblings and parents but also with a lot of laughs and memories. The original story was written by the late and great John Hughes. Entitled “Vacation 58”, it was about his families attempt at a nice summer vacation and road trip to Disneyland. Hughes was great at showing parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, grandmas and grandpas as flawed individuals, but still good at the parenting thing because they loved and they loved hard. Just sometimes they messed up when getting around to showing you that love.
Once when on a mini Father Daughter road trip I was allowed to sit in the front seat. While traveling down a random country road, my boredom got the best of me and I'm sure at this point my Father was probably tired of me asking him ten year old girl questions like, "what's your favorite color?" "Who do you like more me or Casey?" So I sat in silence as he drove on. At some point during my moment of silence I thought it would be a good idea to test my door and it's locking capabilities. Would it open while the car was in motion? What would happen? Lets find out! As soon as I reached for the door, I turned and looked at my Father,he smiled and at that moment I knew he loved me, but was probably going to kill me. The door opened and the car swerved as my Father reached for the door and closed it. Casually he pulls over looks at me and says "What the hell is wrong with you? Why would you do that? Are you stupid?!" I had no answer. He'd never yelled so loud at me before let alone use a curse word, at least not in my presence. My answer was I boredom, but I knew from experience that, that wasn't a good enough answer. So I said nothing and laughed like a little sociopath which made him even more angry. Eventually we went on about our drive. He bought me ice cream and we never spoke of it again.
I like to think of all Fathers having a Clark Griswald meltdowns at every family event or vacation. His meltdowns are some of the best monologues ever filmed. He's so feed up with trying while everyone gives nothing in return. He's honest and direct, he's given up yet a tiny part of him is determined to get something good out of situation. We've all been there.
The Christmas Vacation rant is by far the best. Lets pause to reflect.
Good isn't it?
Now that Vacation is coming back I hold out hope that the writers took on the spirit of John Hughes and wrote flawed but lovable parents, and that they gave Rusty his fathers gift of a perfectly timed rant about how much he can't stand his family or job. The trailer looks promising, with some obvious humor but also some new exciting adventures. I think I saw a scene where they go to Burning Man? Rusty seems to be similar to his Father with his happy, optimistic and somewhat naive out look on life. Audrey I never got a feel for, but she's played by the great Leslie Mann, so i'm sure she's going to deliver. Chris Hemsworth AKA Thor, shows up and I really don't care why because...
I hope that before everyone rushes out to see the new Vacation, they take the time to watch the original. I would actually recommend watching the only three worth watching. National Lampoon's Vacation, National Lampoon's European Vacation and the best Christmas movie ever made, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. The others, I have nothing nice to say about, so watch at your own risk. Also, take the time to tell your newer younger generations about all the family road trips you once took. I guarantee the fond memories will come flowing back and you'll be forced to pick up the phone to call your sister to reminisce. You might even call your parents to apologize and say thank you.
RIP Randy Quaid ( I know he's not dead, but he's literally gone crazy)
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