National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
The nice thing about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is that it doesn’t take a great deal of pity on its protagonists. Home Alone let the kid get away from the robbers, A Christmas Story indulges Ralphie’s boyish fantasies—but when was the last time anyone felt sorry for Chevy Chase? The third installment in the Vacation series puts the Griswold family through a merciless holiday, complete with a flaming sled, Christmas-tree disasters, a pesky squirrel, and a surprise visit from Randy Quaid as certifiable human science experiment Cousin Eddie. If shamelessly cheesy (tagline: “Yule crack up!”), the film’s endless slapstick is pretty enjoyable when greased with some clever, dysfunctional dialogue.