- Fri-Sat, December 21-22 at MidnightDir. Jeremiah S. Chechik, USA, 1989, 97 min., PG-13, HD
Chevy Chase, star of National Lampoon's Vacation and its sequel, is back as the paterfamilias of the Griswold family (including Beverly D'Angelo as his missus) to skewer the Yuletide season. Chevy mugs, trips, falls, mashes his fingers and stubs his toes as he prepares to invite numerous dysfunctional relatives to his household to celebrate Christmas. Amidst the more outrageous sight gags (including the electrocution of a cat as the Christmas tree is lit) the film betrays a sentimental streak, with old wounds healing and long-estranged relatives reuniting in the Griswold living room. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation was still capable of attracting an audience five years after its release -- it was one of the top-rated seasonal TV specials of 1994, outrating even the first network telecast of It's a Wonderful Life.