I’m getting ready to go on a vacation and boy is there a lot to take care of! I’ve got to go to the bank, call the credit card companies, stop the mail, get a pedicure – life is rough! And while I look at the huge pile of clothes spilling out of the suitcase sitting in front of me, I’m starting to get anxious. What if my suitcase is overweight? What if I leave my passport at home? What if – god forbid – I forget to pack my water shoes? But then I start to calm down. I’m going on vacation! And no matter what, as bad as things could get, nothing could be worse than some amazing vacations immortalized on screen. Let’s take a look shall we?
VEGAS VACATION – Obviously you can’t talk about vacation movies without mentioning the godfather of them all, National Lampoon’s Vacation. But while others may praise the classic, I’m going in a different direction – I’m going out west. Vegas Vacation is by far my favorite sequel for 2 reasons. One, it was the only one my family owned on VHS and two; I was actually old enough to enjoy it when it came out! The movie revisits the Griswold clan when the kids are all grown up (and played by different actors – Ethan Embry as Rusty and Marisol Nichols as Audrey) and Clark is itching to cash in his large bonus check. Shenanigans ensue, with a visit to Randy Quaid’s desert trailer park taking the cake as by far the most dangerous place to raise a family (rattle snack hunt, anyone?) It’s silly, it’s kitschy, and it birthed one of my favorite obscure quotes of all time, “I put a dollar in, got a car. I put a dollar in, got a car. I put a dollar in, got a car. I put a dollar in, got a car.” The family drives off into the sunset, each in a separate convertible (see: above quote) and we say goodbye to the Griswolds until Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (not included on this list for obvious reasons).
JUST MARRIED – Oh, the good old days. Ashton pre-Demi and the adorable Brittany Murphy in her prime. While this romantic comedy can surely be cast away as a silly early-aughts vehicle for two of America’s sweetest sweethearts, it’s actually very sweet! The (at the time) real-life couple play mismatched lovebirds – she from the country club and he from the janitor’s closet – who fall in love and get married against her family’s wishes. From a bloody nose on their wedding night to Murphy’s evil ex-boyfriend stalking the couple on their European honeymoon, it seems the world is dead-set on keeping the newlyweds apart. But love conquers all and blah, blah, blah they make it out alive on the other side. It’s a great little flick for a rainy day and come on, little yellow smart cars are always funny.
HOLIDAY IN THE SUN – The best straight-to-video release this side of The Adventures of Mary Kate and Ashley: The Case of the Logical i Ranch. MK & A were a huge part of my childhood and you better believe I owned every one of their films, from Winning London to How The West Was Fun (Winning London is technically my favorite, but as they were sent across the pond to compete in a Model UN competition, it doesn’t qualify as a vacation flick.) Anyhoo, Holiday in the Sun is your classic teen fare, with a shopping montage, a boy for each sister and an evil nemesis set out to destroy the girls at any cost, this time played by a young Megan Fox (Seriously). My favorite part shows the girls in class before their dad whisks them away on a surprise vacation, with a globe on Mary Kate’s desk and a microscope on Ashley’s… because they were in Geo-Biology class? The twins are queens of the so-bad-it’s-good flick. Bonus points: WEEZER provided the soundtrack!
So you’ve heard my faves, now it’s time to list your own in the comments! While you’re at it, voice your choice in today’s poll and tell us which Vacation flick is your favorite.
National Lampoon’s Vacation
National Lampoon’s European Vacation
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation