One of the funniest family comedies, The Johnson Family Vacation takes the viewers on an unforgettable excursion across America. Marlon Brando plays the title role, while Sidney Poitier and Marilu Henner round out the talented cast. With the title role comes a memorable supporting role as the aging King, Caesar. Brando’s Caesar is a far cry from the hunky Caesar from earlier movies. In this film, he’s just a young man, a king not quite sure of himself, and quite concerned with his people’s social protocol.
Cross Country Trip To A Big Family Reunion
Separated from his lovely wife (Vanessa Williams), Nate Johnson (Commando) seeks to make amends with her, taking his family on a cross country trip to a big family reunion. Convincing them to join him on the trip, he takes them on a fascinating trek through California to Missouri. Still, they run into various oddities and eccentricities along the way, like a deranged hitchhiker (Shannon Elizabeth). Then a series of unfortunate events result in the return of Nate’s brother, Caesar (Glenn Stipe), who has been estranged from the rest of the family since childhood. This causes some tension within the group, and Nate and his sister, Katya (Emma Stone), must sort out their differences while also trying to patch up the rift with Caesar.
Magnificent Cast Of The Film
The cast of this film is simply magnificent. Those actors who have made an impression on me are Al Pacino and Robert Duvall. Both actors have been named in my list of top “acts of the year.” I especially enjoy watching Al Pacino, making impressions of Scarface.
The musical score is excellent. The beautiful original “Fiddler on the Roof” music is used for much of the movie, and it adds a level of beauty and whimsy to the entire production. It fits the film’s overall mood and provides the perfect background for some of the more hilarious scenes between the Johnson family. The use of classical music enhances the experience. The Johnson family seems to be on holiday, on a fabulous family vacation.
The acting is spectacular, as is the music. One scene near the end might be the highlight of the film for me, as a seemingly out of character Max tries to stop his vicious dog from attacking a helplessly sleeping baby. Max is played by Ed Harris, who is simply fantastic in this role. I cannot say enough about him.
Plot Of The Film
The plot of the film is also quite good, although it may not be for everyone. It is set during the early years of the Depression when the family is in total despair. But, as the plot evolves, you come to realize that the war was not the primary driving force behind their misery. It was much deeper than that.
One of the greatest things about the Johnson family vacation is that all of the characters have flaws, even though they are incredibly likable. Watching Max and his brother run amuck, stealing from their relatives and friends, only to end up in jail (and back in jail), is a laugh riot for me. It makes me laugh every time. Watching Holly and Andy squabbling over who gets to cook the family Thanksgiving dinner is priceless. And watching Johnny, Frank, and Beth getting all worked up over whether or not they should leave their new home is just hilarious.
Overall, this is one of the best films that I have seen in recent memory. It tells a great story and has some great acting. My recommendation for anyone wanting to see a great film, but without the big expense, is the same: pick up a Johnson family vacation cast. They are sure to be more than worth the money.