One of the first films where I can vividly recall the experience I had in the theater was Christmas Vacation. And while a lot of it was admittedly over my head at the time, there was something so goddamn familiar about spending the holidays with your family and everything going to shit, but in the merriest of ways. That’s why Vacation and Christmas Vacation work for me, because (save for a hostage situation or two) the comedy in those films is highly plausible and highly relatable for those of us with a midwestern background in dysfunction. It’s also why European Vacation and Vegas Vacation don’t – plausibility was sacrificed for… something? I’m not sure what was going on with either of those films.
Which is why I can only muster up half enthusiasm, half dismissive wank at THR’s scoop that the Vacation series is getting another go. I like that the team behind Horrible Bosses, that of John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, are at the helm. But there’s something infinitely depressing about this current trend of filmmakers doing something original only to be saddled with sequels, franchises and Jim Carrey films as reward. I see where it works for them, but for the movie-going public it’s glurge. And the thought of this becoming a movie about son Rusty’s family (with Clark and Co. filling in the background) feels entirely uninspired.
In an alternate universe Chevy Chase wouldn’t be able to commit to this project because his late night show is still going strong and he’s already committed to a six-picture deal to see the Memoirs of an Invisible Man franchise through to its logical conclusion. So maybe I’ll take this universe instead.