Christmas Vacation (1989) Film Review


Having seen European Vacation almost yearly (given how often it is screened on television) I’ve somehow made it this far without seeing Christmas Vacation, and I’m glad I’ve finally seen it, in all its slapstick glory.

The story is pretty typical of a Christmas film; a man wants a perfect Christmas for his family, and has little consideration of how it may affect those around him. The man is Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase), and his family are his wife Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), son Buck (Johnny Galecki now known for The Big Bang Theory) and daughter Audrey (Juliette Lewis). And all the ring-ins – both sets of parents and trailer trash brother-in-law. Clark is expecting his Christmas bonus, and has put a deposit on a pool in anticipation, however he is left waiting for a long time. Meanwhile, everything he does seems to be ruining the lives of the yuppies next door (Julia Louise Dreyfus and Nicholas Guest)

It’s fun and stupid and worth a watch, just don’t be expecting Citizen Kane. Unless you really like disappointment; or hate Citizen Kane.

Big Bang Theory – TV Review


Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons) are a couple of scientists who work in different fields at the same university and share an apartment. The beautiful but not-so-smart Penny (Kaley Cuoco) has moved in across the hallway and a she and Leonard commence an on-again-off-again love affair. Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Howard (Simon Helberg) were the two additional members of the group, but since they have been joined by two new love interests, Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and Amy (Mayim Bialik).

I’ve loved a lot of the comedies of Chuck Lorre. From the early days of My Two Dads, Roseanne and Cybil to Dharma and Greg, he’s made me laugh. Although I can’t say I’m a fan of all of his work – he did produce Two and a Half Men. (Which I tried. I remember Jon Cryer from films in the eighties, but I just couldn’t do it).

Personally, I believe that The Big Bang Theory is the best of all of them. It’s extremely well written, with a science consultant to ensure that the jokes are actually based in fact. And I can’t recall a sitcom character I’ve enjoyed as much as Sheldon. Magnificent. It’s just a shame that it has been treated so poorly by the commercial station that screens it. I could never tell when a new episode was on or whether it was one of the hundred of repeats each week. Thank goodness for box sets and DVD shops.