Author Topic: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)  (Read 7562 times)

nawhite

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Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« on: December 16, 2013, 02:34:08 PM »
Quick summary of relevant parts of the film if you haven't seen it:
The Griswold's extended family all comes over for Christmas. Clark Griswold (the Dad in the family, played by Chevy Chase) spends many thousands of dollars on a down payment on an in-ground pool thinking that he will cover the rest of it when he gets his Christmas bonus. He plans to announce to the family on Christmas Day that they are going to get a pool. Low and behold, there are no bonuses that year and Clark has a crazy rant.

(The movie is very good and full of very funny short scenes. There is a whole lot more in the movie than the above summary its just the part that is relevant to mustachianism. I definitely recommend it if you haven't seen it. Also its free on Amazon Prime right now.)

So, while this was going on in the movie, my facepunch muscles were twitching and I expressed my frustration to my wife. She thought I was being far too judgy. Her comment was something along the lines of "well, just because you wouldn't buy an in-ground pool doesn't mean that you should judge Clark Griswold for wanting to buy one for his family. You can't judge what people do with their own money."

For the good of marital bliss, I dropped it with her, but I just want to say something:
ITS NOT HIS MONEY YET!!! FACEPUNCH FACEPUNCH FACEPUNCH!!!

Ok much better. Thanks.

jfer_rose

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 02:57:11 PM »
I watched the movie over the weekend (via Netflix streaming-- it is available there too). And I also gave a mental facepunch about this particular part. I was alone, so it was a "voice in my head" sort of facepunch. I mean, the conversation around the office suggested that an annual bonus was something to SPEND rather than to save. Face punch, indeed.

Megatron

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 02:58:01 PM »
thanks for the walk down memory lane. This was the first American movie I saw as a kid on a plane immigrating to the US with my parents. I remember I didn't understand what they were saying but laughed throughout the movie. I also remember thinking that they had so much stuff in the house. like a refrigerator and TVs and telephones and loads of food!

infogoon

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 03:07:43 PM »
I always wondered how Clark could afford a spacious, beautiful house in what appears to be a beautiful neighborhood, but couldn't swing a few thousand bucks to make up for the missing bonus.

jpdcpajd

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 03:21:18 PM »
Clark's Son in that movie is Leonard from Big Bang Theory.

nawhite

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 03:36:55 PM »
Clark's Son in that movie is Leonard from Big Bang Theory.

Mind. Blown. I never would have picked that up without the prod but you're absolutely right!

gooki

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 03:39:25 PM »
Thanks for the reminder to watch this again.

Jack

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 05:04:00 PM »
Of course Clark Griswold makes bad financial decisions; the entire premise of the movie is that he's a walking disaster!

Also, that rant tops my list as the best movie insult of all time, surpassing even the likes of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket and John Cleese as the French knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

"Hallelujah, holy shit! (Where's the Tylenol?)"

Cooperd0g

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 05:04:22 PM »
I always wondered how Clark could afford a spacious, beautiful house in what appears to be a beautiful neighborhood, but couldn't swing a few thousand bucks to make up for the missing bonus.

Because he is in debt up to his eyeballs!

http://youtu.be/r0HX4a5P8eE

wakkowarner

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2013, 02:49:37 PM »
I always wondered how Clark could afford a spacious, beautiful house in what appears to be a beautiful neighborhood, but couldn't swing a few thousand bucks to make up for the missing bonus.

I always wondered how he could afford to pay the electricity bill.  Remember how fast his meter was spinning?

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2013, 03:45:28 PM »
hahaha, I love that movie to death but even prior to finding this website and starting to think even more critically about my spending, my inner frugal person has always HATED that part of the movie!! (the spending money you don't have part) it just stresses me out to think about!

I always wondered how he could afford to pay the electricity bill.  Remember how fast his meter was spinning?

...aaand I just rewatched it a few weeks ago, and since we are currently trying to bring our outrageous electricity bill way down, THAT part also made me twitch...seriously it was painful!

Richard3

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2013, 04:14:39 PM »
Clark's Son in that movie is Leonard from Big Bang Theory.

Mind. Blown. I never would have picked that up without the prod but you're absolutely right!

Isn't he also the son from Roseanne?

dandarc

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2013, 08:10:13 PM »
Clark's Son in that movie is Leonard from Big Bang Theory.

Mind. Blown. I never would have picked that up without the prod but you're absolutely right!

Isn't he also the son from Roseanne?

I thought he was one of the daughter's boyfriend on Rosanne - and that same actress went on to play Leslie Winkle in Big Bang Theory.

Richard3

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2013, 12:01:01 AM »
Maybe that's it. I knew there was some connection but I mostly watch Big Bang Theory for Penny :)

KS

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2013, 10:54:45 AM »
My husband and I just watched that on Netflix while doing our gift-wrapping (it's one of his favorites), and I had that same reaction! Luckily I married a man who completely agreed with me when I spoke up about how nuts it is that so many people probably had/have that mentality about bonuses, when they are so far from being a sure thing. Movie's still good for some laughs though. :)

wtjbatman

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #15 on: December 21, 2013, 01:22:17 AM »
The movie would definitely have been funnier if Clark had gathered the family together in the kitchen, and sat down for a brainstorming session whereby each member of the family came up with a contribution (financial or otherwise) that would allow them to make room in their balanced budget for a new bike trailer so that Clark could haul the family's swimming gear over to the community pool for a fun (and free) dip in the pool on those hot Chicago summer days.

On second thought it's just a movie. Breathe, and laugh.

I'm actually a big fan of it. Between Christmas Vacation and A Christmas Story (another movie about unbridled avarice! oh my!) I pretty much have all the movie entertainment I need for the holidays.

eyePod

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2013, 06:54:41 AM »
My wife was on the same page.  Getting a pool is a terrible financial decision but we get it.  You can have a lot of fun if you're going to use it all summer.  FINANCING A POOL WITH A BONUS THAT YOU HAVEN'T GOTTEN YET IS RIDICULOUS!!!

avonlea

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #17 on: December 22, 2013, 07:05:11 AM »
If only for Cousin Eddie, that movie is worth watching every year.  He makes me laugh to tears.

aj_yooper

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #18 on: December 22, 2013, 07:36:03 AM »
If only for Cousin Eddie, that movie is worth watching every year.  He makes me laugh to tears.

And for Eddie it wasn't all acting!

infogoon

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #19 on: December 23, 2013, 08:23:39 AM »
If only for Cousin Eddie, that movie is worth watching every year.  He makes me laugh to tears.

"Can I get you any more egg nog? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?"

eyePod

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2013, 06:12:48 AM »
If only for Cousin Eddie, that movie is worth watching every year.  He makes me laugh to tears.

"Can I get you any more egg nog? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?"

Merry Christmas, shitter was full!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fyS5CLBgyM

ichangedmyname

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2013, 10:43:33 PM »
Just saw this last night....

aglassman

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #22 on: December 31, 2013, 10:14:52 AM »
This is my favorite Christmas movie. 

amused_bouche

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #23 on: December 31, 2013, 10:28:43 AM »

Also, that rant tops my list as the best movie insult of all time, surpassing even the likes of R. Lee Ermey in Full Metal Jacket and John Cleese as the French knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail.

"Hallelujah, holy shit! (Where's the Tylenol?)"

Agreed!!

Is having a pool is inherently anti-Mustachian? Especially in a place like Chicago with about 3 months of pool usage time each year? Could having one be justified in a permanently hot climate?

Just curious.

randymarsh

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #24 on: December 31, 2013, 12:21:51 PM »
Is having a pool is inherently anti-Mustachian? Especially in a place like Chicago with about 3 months of pool usage time each year? Could having one be justified in a permanently hot climate?

I don't think inherently. You just have to know what you're getting into. There's recurring costs: chemicals, repairs, electricity, insurance, etc. that a lot of people don't consider though. We only have a 3 month season too and I think some families get good use out of them.

nawhite

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #25 on: December 31, 2013, 12:38:17 PM »
Is having a pool is inherently anti-Mustachian? Especially in a place like Chicago with about 3 months of pool usage time each year? Could having one be justified in a permanently hot climate?

Just curious.

You have to do the cost benefit analysis for your household (as with any other purchase). Lets make up some numbers for a small, cheap, efficient pool:

Installation costs: ~$15k (this is a super cheap pool!)
Annual cost to fill it: $50
Cost to run heater and filter: $200/year
Cost of chemicals: $300/year

So you're looking at $15k to install and another $550 annually for a pool you can use for 3 months in Chicago (or 9 months in New Mexico for instance). The cost to take kids to a public pool:

$5/trip in auto expenses and gas (assumes 10 miles round trip and $0.50 / mile)
then $8 / kid for a day pass (for example)
or
$100/month for a family membership somewhere

In this case the worth of the pool depends on what activities you expect your children to do. If you and your kids love pools (but only outdoor ones and only in the summer) and will use the pool 4 times per week during the summer, then having your own pool in Chicago would pay for itself vs 2 kids using day passes at a public pool, in about 30 years (but only if you ignore the opportunity cost of the 15k invested elsewhere).

So in this example with a super cheap pool, 2 kids using a pool 4 times per week, you will probably never actually break even.  I have no idea if kids would actually want to use a pool 4 times per week, but it seems a little high if anything to me (but I never had a pool as a kid).

Pools are TERRIBLE investments. They are also one of the more difficult to justify personal conveniences from a financial standpoint when you can just take your kid to a public pool.

wtjbatman

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Re: Christmas Vacation (1989 Movie)
« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2013, 02:26:23 PM »
Pools do make houses look ten times better on House Hunters, however.

Not that I would ever watch a show like House Hunters.