Vegas Vacation
Entertainment: +2
Acceptability: -1

As the fourth entry in the Vacation comedy series, this film follows the familiar pattern of its predecessors. Chevy Chase returns as earnest father Clark Griswold, obsessed with finding the perfect vacation experience to encourage family unity. As you might expect, he takes wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo) and teenage children Audrey (Marisol Nichols) and Rusty (Ethan Embry) to "America's new family entertainment capital," Las Vegas. They attend a Siegfried and Roy show, visit low-life cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid) and his family and tour Hoover Dam. But then the Griswolds drift in different directions. Ellen, already a big fan of singer Wayne Newton, encounters him in a casino and is surprised when Newton takes a romantic interest in her. Normally shy Audrey is enticed by the free-spirited, go-go dancing lifestyle of cousin Vickie (Shae D'Lyn). With fake I.D. in hand, Rusty visits some casinos, hits an amazing run of good fortune and socializes with high rollers. Clark hasn't been so lucky, however, losing hand after hand of blackjack while he's taunted by a merciless dealer (Wallace Shawn). Can Clark get it together before his family falls apart? The answer won't surprise you, but neither will much of the humor in this below-average comedy.

Vegas Vacation isn't as foul as many of today's comedies, but it has just enough inappropriate material to prevent our recommendation. The gambling lifestyle of Las Vegas is glamorized, particularly by Rusty's incredible winning streak. Clark's obsessive wagering jeopardizes his family's financial security before a convenient happy ending shows up for the Griswolds. Tying this solution with the death of a minor character shows questionable taste, however. Chase's trademark pratfalls are limited, although he has one slapstick incident at Hoover Dam. Clark and Ellen try to join the "Mile High Club" by having sex in an airplane lavatory, but the scene is played for laughs as they struggle in the cramped quarters. Ellen favors low-cut clothes and there are some poolside scenes featuring women in skimpy bathing suits. Many crudities appear in the dialogue, but just one mild obscenity and two regular profanities. If you're hoping to take a holiday from offensive material, you'll probably want to skip this Vacation.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Many (11) times - Mild 10, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: Once - slang term for excrement)
Profanity: Many (14) times -- Regular 2 (G-d 1, J 1), Exclamatory 12
Violence: Few times - Moderate (slapstick fall, car crash through window)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Nude statues; near nudity many times (low-cut and revealing outfits, women in bikinis)
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: Few times (married couple tries to have sex on plane, wife talks suggestively to husband, seductive female dancing)
Drug Abuse: Many times (beer and alcohol, cigar)
Other: Glamorized gambling
Running Time: 91 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and young adults

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