NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION
1989, Warner Bros., 97 min, USA, Dir: Jeremiah S. Chechik

Screenwriter John Hughes expertly juggles farce and sentiment in this delightful holiday film, perhaps the best in the entire VACATION series. Suburban dad Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) finds his plans for the perfect Christmas going awry thanks to a visit from obnoxious brother-in-law Eddie (a hilarious Randy Quaid), but the slapstick antics give way to a surprisingly touching finale that perfectly sums up Hughes’ feelings about home and family. With Beverly D’Angelo, Diane Ladd.


BACK TO SCHOOL
1986, Park Circus/MGM, 96 min, USA, Dir: Alan Metter

Rodney Dangerfield can’t get no respect as a father whose son has decided that he doesn’t want to go to college. Determined to show him the importance of education, Dangerfield enrolls at the university as well. He’s instantly popular due to his wild parties, but literature professor Sally Kellerman inspires him to crack the books. There are lots of laughs, of course, as well as a cameo by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and a soundtrack by former Oingo Boingo frontman Danny Elfman.


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