Not all we ever wanted

It’s been 30 years since the events of National Lampoon’s Vacation, and Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) is all grown up with a wife (Christina Applegate) and kids of his own. With fond memories of his trip to Walley World, he decides to take his family on the same road trip that he went on. But, much like his childhood trip, this one doesn’t go smoothly.

Vacation opens in wide release July 29.


JAIMIE: I think this is another one of those films I will just wait to watch on TV. It seems perfect for a mindless laundry afternoon, where I don’t have to pay close attention. I would much rather watch one of the original National Lampoon’s Vacation series. As much as I do like Ed Helms sometimes, I totally prefer Chevy Chase.

JAMES: Ed Helms seems like a good choice to replace Chevy Chase’s Clark Griswold as the doting husband and father. Seems like he’s building on his persona as the whole wittingly gets embroiled in debauchery.

CHRISTINA: I am not really sure why those Vacation films got as much attention as they did in the first place. I don’t recall thinking any of them were all that funny — or funny at all. I don’t see the appeal.

PAIGE: Like the older son here, I have also never heard of the original movie this movie is clearly based on. So, I guess I am the target audience. But it doesn’t quite seem to have a plot? They’re just all going to this cool vacation destination (that will, inevitably, be terrible) and get into wacky hijinks along the way? Well, I guess I’ve seen movies get by with less.

CHRISTINA: I did find it kind of funny when Ed Helms is getting all meta when he is talking about “the original vacation” as a reference to the film.

PAIGE: I feel that for actors like Chris Hemsworth, unfortunately being funny is reduced to just being hot, to the point where you are the punchline or the spectacle. Like, how many super hot comedians are there? Not very many. You just can’t be hot and funny. Even in The Hangover movies, Bradley Cooper was the straight man, not the source of the jokes. Though, as I write this, I realize I haven’t seen Zac Efron’s recent attempts at comedy, so I dunno, he could be hot and funny. Not sure.

NICOLE: I don’t think Hemsworth is trying to be a comedian. His main purpose in this film is to be hot. There’s nothing wrong with him being the spectacle.

PAIGE: I don’t think it’s bad to be a spectacle, but I feel like people like Hemsworth will never get a chance to try to be comedic. I mean, the joke here is that he’s hot and his junk is basically hanging out right there. But the comedy is all in everyone else’s reactions to that. He’s, you could say, the well-toned butt of the joke. The hot person’s curse.

CHRISTINA: To me, a lot of the humor seems pretty lame — they’re just relying on crude sex jokes that really aren’t that entertaining.

JAMES: Between all the dirty jokes and sleazy sight gags, these Vacation movies always have good clean message — that families, no matter how dysfunctional, should stick together.