“I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.”
Let me start by saying that despite his sad career Chevy Chase is an overrated actor.
This movie, while entertaining seems to miss every single thing that Christmas stands for. It is shallow, materialistic, short sighted, involving family members we can’t stand to see but whom we feel like are required to invite because we have to maintain some bizarre fantasy of what we consider to be a happy family. But that is what this movie about. This is what people pervert Christmas into and not what it should be.
This is not the only movie to make fun of middle class sensibilities with only the arrogance and distain that Hollywood can somehow maintain for its primary customers (of course low class white trash, upper middle class yuppies, and the rich are also insulted…but that doesn’t change the fact that this movie just has distain for its audience). But this is the only one that seems to show no redeeming value in its characters whatsoever. It would be hard to be more of a worthless human being than Clark Griswold (lustful, stupid, self-centered, and lacking in any ability to find balance or moderation)…yet somehow the rest of the cast manages.
(Oh did you like that point where cousin Eddie makes the comment about how he how has to go to the V.A. for medical care. Yes, that is exactly what Hollywood thinks our soldier’s are like).
Yes there are funny moments. It’s a decent comedy. (If you’ve got a bit of alcohol in you, or can shut your brain off from analyzing film…a skill I’ve yet to master). But there is nothing that actually represents the spirit of Christmas, especially that pathetic attempt at showing charity by the Griswold’s boos in the last few moments of the film.
I include this film not only because it seems to be on everyone else’s top list of Christmas films, and because it is a half-way decent film, but because it works as a great counter point for everything this is going to follow. Notice how none of the cynicism of this film is what is supposed to be in this holiday.