Let's face it: any holiday where a maiden aunt dies in the back of your car has GOT to be a disaster. And comic catastrophe is virtually guaranteed with the hapless Griswold family, especially with Chevy Chase's know-it-all dad at the helm.
He shows up well in this change-of-pace role as the father who drives his wife and kids thousands of miles to Wally World (a close relative of Disneyland) in California. En route they have the car stolen when they misroute into a ghetto district, enjoy a chaotic stay with poor country cousins ('Eddie says that after the baby comes, I can quit one of my night jobs'), get lost in the desert and are thrown off a vibrating bed in a motel. That's just for starters!
Beverly D'Angelo is a real little scene-stealer as Chase's wife, while the two kids, Anthony Michael Hall and Dana Barron, seem as near natural and unspoilt as it's possible for movie kids to be.
Review by IPC