National Lampoon's Las Vegas Vacation

"Movie Magazine International" Review

(Air Date: Week Of 02/26/97)

By Mary Weems

Like, O.K., if I can believe any normal woman vacationing in Vegas could go ga ga over Wayne Newton, then, sure, I could actually believe Chevy Chase, the all-American Dad, could get lost on a tour of the Boulder Dam, and end up scaling the bare walls to get back to the tour group. I mean, it's just like a wild and wacky family vacation, right?

Thanks to "National Lampoon's Las Vegas Vacation," the Griswold family saga continues, with Chevy Chase as the Dad, Beverly d'Angelo as the Mom, and with their two delightful teenaged kids. And what would a family vacation be if the Griswolds didn't run into their Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, who's like a good-natured, redneck version of Klaus Kinski in "Aguirre, the Wrath of God." This time his son's mouth is, like, pierced closed with all these little rings, but Eddie says he enjoys eating through a straw.

But, no family vacation is totally perfect, and Eddie isn't the only snaffu here. Dad gambles away the family savings, while underaged son Rusty gets an illegal I.D., wins everything in sight, and throws this wild party, and daughter Audrey buys a micro dress and cage dances in a Vegas club. But those Griswolds, they have each other, they're good, and it all works out. Yea, Griswolds!!!!

Extra points go to Cousin Eddie for saying: "Yuban Coffee -- you can eat it on anything -- ice cream, mashed potatoes, and just eat it out of the can for a quick pick-me-up." And to sadistic blackjack dealer Wally Shawn for telling Chevy Chase: "Just give me half the money you were gonna bet, then go outside and let me kick you in the nuts, and you'll come out ahead."

Sure, it's stoopid, and a lot of it was so funny I forgot to laugh. But gosh, shucks, I guess there's room in this world for stoopid movies, like, for when you're in a stoopid mood. And a special award goes to Wayne Newton for explaining to wide-eyed Beverly d'Angelo what "Donka Shane" means. Thanks, Wayne, and your hair color looks really natural!! And I don't wanta forget to send a big thank you to Las Vegas itself -- hey, Vegas, just thanks for being you!!!!

Copyright 1997 Mary Weems

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