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CHEVY CHASE DRIVES ORIGINAL 'NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION'

Title: NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION Year: 1983 Rating: ****1/2

Chevy Chase's best actual acting performance, capturing the naive optimism of a suburban dad driving reluctant yet resilient son Anthony Michael Hall and the seventeen-looking fourteen wannabe stoner daughter Dana Barron as the original Rusty and Audrey... and co-starring mostly perfect wife in Beverly D'Angelo: all stuck on a cross-country trip... 

Our ever-optimistic hero remains stridently hopeful till exploding in a curse-laden diatribe; this after an unlucky string of adventurous stopovers at various tourist traps including a Wild West Town and (above and within) the Grand Canyon while Randy Quaid, as D'Angelo's white trash step-brother, takes things to another level: not only comically but, as Chase's polar-opposite, we see our put-upon hero more clearly...

Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron in VACATION with Chevy Chase

Although hilarious through and through, there's a dark side to this VACATION. As bad luck piles on, Clark gets more and more annoyed at his family, who simply refuse to enjoy the trip: they would have rather gone to Hawaii anyhow... 

But no matter what family or circumstantial bulwarks get in the way, Clark's blind determination never refrains, another reason Chevy Chase should be given more credit as an actor and not just a funny guy...

Christie Brinkley in VACATION

Supermodel Christy Brinkley, as a roaming babe in a Ferrari convertible, provides memorable cameos, and necessary distraction for  Clark's sanity from his wife's grouchy nagging and a nightmarish and doomed old aunt passenger: all leading to a wonderfully bizarre finale at their destination, Wally World...

And not to forget the glorious Lindsay Buckingham theme song "Holiday Road," second only to Kenny Loggin's CADDYSHACK track for the all time best comedy classic themes summing up the entire celebration of the classy eighties but, being a NATIONAL LAMPOON production and directed by ANIMAL HOUSE co-writer Harold Ramis, not without residual from the R-Rated Exploitation 1970's, 

Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron in VACATION with Beverly D'Angelo
Post Cards in VACATION
Post Cards in VACATION
Post Cards in VACATION
Christie Brinkley in VACATION
Dana Barron in VACATION
Dana Barron in VACATION with Thin Lizzy Chinatown album
Chevy Chase in VACATION
Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron in VACATION listen to The Ramones
Beverly D'Angelo in VACATION
Dana Barron in VACATION with Nathan Cook and Chevy Chase
Chevy Chase and Anthony Michael Hall in VACATION
Christie Brinkley in VACATION
Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn in VACATION
Chevy Chase and John Candy in VACATION
Dana Barron in VACATION with Beverly D'Angelo
Chevy Chase and Anthony Michael Hall in VACATION
Dana Barron in VACATION with Anthony Michael Hall
Dana Barron in VACATION

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