When a Christmas family vacation movie is considered, some might immediately think of an action-packed Christmas movie. However, there are other comedies that could be considered. In fact, some of the best Christmas movies ever made happen at the end of the year – when the family can take a break from Christmas shopping and just relax and enjoy the holidays. Two movies that fit this category are “A Christmas Carol” and “Election.”
A Christmas Carol
One of the best Christmas movies in recent years is “A Christmas Carol.” Directed by Wes Ball, the movie takes place on the eve of Christmas in 18th century England. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge and his determination to bring joy to his beloved wife, Mary. Although he tries to plan a grand holiday, he’s unable to overcome the harsh winter weather and storms that seem to come out of nowhere. And along the way, he makes a few missteps that put both himself and Mary in jeopardy. One major event includes a large snowball that falls in front of a window covering the Christmas tree in the characters’ home.
National Lampoons Vacation
Another Christmas family vacation movie that features a heavy dose of humor is “National Lampoons Vacation.” The movie takes place in the same rural community as the real Griswold family. When the family goes on a vacation, they encounter a variety of oddball characters that live in the local woods. Among the various characters include the evil Griswold family, the son of a deceased man named Fred (David Strathairn), a talkative dog (voiced by John Candy), and a blind kid named Max (Dana Barron). The Griswold family sets out on a lengthy road trip, but a series of unexpected events push them to return to their home to investigate what happened to their road trip and what might have caused it.
One segment of the film is a comical adventure that takes place during the long, drive across the nation in an old van driven by Griswold family. While on the road trip, the van is wrecked and replaced with a dump truck and trailer. As a result, the Griswold family must depend on other people’s help in order to survive, including the arrival of the town bully, Cheyne (Dawn French), and the equally annoying Christmas Griswold (Frank Langella).
“Christmas Vacation” is not only a great family vacation movie, but it also chronicles the rise of independent films. It is set during the early years of the Free Enterprise System of America. It is interesting to see how far the country has come in terms of individual freedom and economic freedom for an array of characters. It is also a very entertaining film because of the excellent acting performances by Bill Murray and Bruce Willis. Both of these actors bring a unique sense of humor to their respective roles, bringing life to an otherwise light-hearted family vacation movie.
Another great Christmas family vacation movie is “A Christmas Carol”. This is a movie that all of us can relate to, and that many of us grew up watching as children. Carol is the daughter of a well-to-do family who lives in the upscale town of Springfield. Her brother, Francis, is a poor Catholic whose lack of spiritual belief prevents him from being involved in much of the festivities associated with Christmas. Carol realizes her feelings of detachment will prevent her from being able to attend her brother’s Christmas Eve service, but she decides to visit him anyway in order to wish him” Merry Christmas” one last time before her family decides to go on holiday.
The movie begins on Christmas Eve and goes on to include several holidays, including Thanksgiving and New Year’s. It includes plenty of Christmas scenes, including the famous Frosty the Snowman commercial, which has been re-done in almost every Christmas movie since 1990. In addition to great characters, the Christmas vacation plot line is excellent, as it always makes us laugh, and the acting is fantastic throughout the movie. Many of the movie stars also do a good job of playing the part of parents and siblings, which brings a level of real life experience to their characters and brings them closer to viewers. Jennifer Aniston and Drew Barrymore both have wonderful comedic voices, and the supporting cast are also very good, with Will Smith and Jason Lee stealing the show with their wonderful chemistry.
Overall, “A Christmas Carol” is a fun and entertaining movie that any family will enjoy. It is not just for children, as there is a strong adult presence, and some adult humor is present. However, most of all this is a movie that any family can enjoy, no matter what age you happen to be. This is one of those rare family vacation movies that actually does everything it promises on its surface, and it is a great Christmas film you shouldn’t miss at all! Watch “A Christmas Carol” when it comes out in theaters!