Thursday, August 07, 2008

Praise Marty Moose! Holy Sh*t!

Today's movie is:

1983's "Vacation"

Starring: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Anthony Michael Hall, Dana Barron, Eddie Bracken and John Candy.

Genre: Comedy

Plot: Hapless family man takes his brood on a cross country road trip. Hijinks be ensuin'.

Best laid plans: Vacation is an hilarious movie. You've got the dead aunt on the top of the car, the dog pissing all over the food, the hick cousins (including a young Jane Krakowski as French kissing, pot growing Vicki), the dad strong-arming his way into Wally World with a bb gun. And those white shoes. Goddamn those shoes. But it's really kinda sweet too...

The Griswolds weren't the only family that took a trip in '83. That was the year that my family went on our first official vacation, which consisted of one week in Galveston, Tx. It was me, my parents and my older brother, Shane.

The car ride lasted about twelve hours and was fairly quiet, save for the periodic screams of "Mom! Shane wiped a booger on me!". Or "Mom! Make her move over! She's touching me again!". My mom chain smoked the whole twelve hours, creating a kind of Cheech and Chong cloud around the car. Her smoking increased to an astronomical rate when we got to Houston (during rush hour no less) while my 15-year-old, freshly-learners-permitted brother was driving and we couldn't pull over.

The actual vacation itself was fairly mundane. The most notable thing that happened was when my cop father tried to break up a dispute between some thuggy redneck and his woman while we were on our way to see 'Return of the Jedi'. Otherwise we visited the beach and various tourist traps while my mom nursed the sunburn from hell. Really, my vacation in '83 had jack all in common with the movie. Except for one thing, which brings me back to my original point.

The Griswolds would have never made it to Wally World if Clark hadn't been an insane, stubborn, loving maniac, nor would OUR vacation have been possible had my mother not been a headstrong, determined, loving maniac. The trip put her and my dad in the hole for quite some time and the sunburn she got on the trip made her sick as a dog, but she saw it through to the end and we had a blast. And by the time we went home, my brother and I even managed to stop trying to kill each other. For a while anyway.

So my point is, while 'Vacation' is funny as hell, if you can stop laughing long enough to notice, there's also a little something something in there about the lengths you'll go to for family. If you're a maniac.

Where are they now?:

Chevy Chase has a couple of movies in the works. He and Beverly D'Angelo recently re-prised their roles as Clark and Ellen on the Star Wars episode of Family Guy.

Beverly D'Angelo has three movies in the can and appeared in 'Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay'. Can I just take this opportunity to say how terrific she was as Patsy Cline in 'Coal Miner's Daughter'? I can? Cool.

Imogene Coca, Eddie Bracken and John Candy left for that big Wally World in the sky in 2001, 2002 and 1994, respectively.

Randy Quaid's most recent notable role was in 'Brokeback Mountain'. He's also been known to rock the Maude Findlay look on occasion. All bound for muu muu land...

I said this in another post recently, but it could stand to be repeated: Anthony Michael Hall is in 'The Dark Knight'. Swear to god, I saw him with my own two eyes.

Dana Barron recently completed 'The Invited' a horror movie that stars Pam Grier.

You can purchase Vacation Here.