National Lampoon’s Vacation is an enjoyable trip through familiar comedy landscapes.
Chevy Chase is perfectly mated with Beverly D’Angelo as an average Chicago suburban couple setting out to spend their annual two-week furlough. Determined to drive, Chase wants to take the two kids to ‘Walley World’ in California. She would rather fly.
Despite home-computer planning, this trip is naturally going to be a disaster from the moment Chase goes to pick up the new car. No matter how bad this journey gets – and it gets pretty disastrous – Chases perseveres in treating each day as a delight, with D’Angelo’s patient cooperation. His son, beautifully played by Anthony Michael Hall, is a help, too.
Vacation peaks early with the family’s visit to Cousin Eddie’s rundown farm, rundown by the relatives residing there. As the uncouth cousin, Randy Quaid almost steals the picture.
Credit director Harold Ramis for populating the film with a host of well-known comedic performers in passing parts.