These types of comedies don't seem to be made anymore which is a shame. Both films are filled with silly sight gags and physical comedy. It is all rather mindless and the stories don't really add up to much. The films were made just to string together a bunch of humourous skits not really to worry about plot or character development. Harmless though they are they will have you busting a gut on occasion. Both are typical John Hughes (who wrote the screenplays) films. Chevy Chase is perfectly cast as the hapless father.
Vacation directed by Harold Ramis:
The Griswalds, Clark (played by Chevy Chasey), Ellen (played by Beverly D'Angelo), Russell (played by Anthony Michael Hall), and Audrey (played by Dana Barron), decide to go on a cross country car trip. They are going to drive from their hometown of Chicago all the way to the West Coast in order to get to Walley World Theme Park.
Dad Clark has planned out every inch of the trip down to the minute but all his plans go down the drain pretty much from the time he puts the key in the engine. After talking to his dimwitted cousin Eddie (played by Randy Quaid) Clark agrees to give Aunt Edna (played by Imogene Coca) a lift to Phoenix.
On the road it is just one incident of bad luck after another. It gets so bad that the viewer along with the Griswalds begin to wonder if they will ever get to Walley World.
Special Features: Introduction by Chevy Chase, Randy Quaid and Matty Simmons
European Vacation directed by Amy Heckerling:
The Griswalds are off on another vacation and you know this one is going to be filled with just as many misadventures as the first.
While on a TV game show, the Griswalds, Clark (played by Chevy Chase), Ellen (played by Beverly D'Angelo), Russell (played by Jason Lively), and Audrey (played by Dana Hill) win a European vacation. Clark likes the itinerary the game show has set up for them but no one else does.
The family starts off in London then moves on to Paris, Germany, and finally Rome. The culture clash begins almost immediately as soon as they get off the plane and continues throughout Europe. Clark struggles with European cars and driving, they stay in dumpy hotels, they get robbed – several times, a kidnapping occurs, and they get mixed up in a case of mistaken identity. Europe will never be the same.