In 1983, one family took the audience on a whirlwind vacation while making commentary about the growing vacation culture itself of the 1970s and 1980s. The National Lamppon’s Vacation earned over $60 million in box-office sales upon its premier, partially because of how relevant the family’s mishaps, fights, and overall struggles to enjoy a family holiday were. Little did director HarolRamis know, he was starting a fan culture of vacation films.
Throughout the 1980s, family films took a turn towards real-life experiences and over-exaggerating trivial circumstances and trials of a “typical” 80s family. Chevy Chase and National Lampoon’s Vacation spawned National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation in 1989 and National Lampoon’s European Vacation in 1985. All of these films center around the father wanting to give his family the best vacation possible while unwanted family or guests pop-in the scenes and several pitfalls meet him along the way. During the 1980s, family vacations (especially those by driving and traveling long distances together) had become a “standard” for families. Fighting between family members, not wanting to do the exact same things all the time, and the idea of growing up and apart all play into the moral of the stories—it is not the destination but the journey and experience that matters.
As vacation films evolved in the 1990s and into the 2000s, they combined with other genres to bring audiences Home Alone, RV, Grown Ups, and even The Hangover.Starring Macaulay Culkin, Home Alone also followed in the Lampoon’s footsteps having three distinct films, Home Alone original, the second, and the third, with one film focusing around Christmas and another focusing on an outside excursion.RV and Grownups take the idea of family vacation more into the mentality of the older generation, since the audience has “grown up” by the 2000s. They bring back the nostalgia of a family vacation, bringing the audience on a more intense journey through the eyes of the adults rather than the whole family and the event itself.The 2010s and into the coming year 2020 have seen vacation movies that are either nostalgic or that incorporate science-fiction and fantasy.
As the New Year quickly approaches, cinemas are preparing for the holiday rush and release of the latest films. TicketLite has information about which films are coming and how to purchase tickets before they are sold out. Movie goers can expect to see films such as Star wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Cats, and Bombshell on December 20th, and Little Women, and 1917 on December 25th.
When 2020 hits, vacation films are going to take a backseat to some anticipated remakes such as Dolittlefeaturing Robert Downey Jr., and Top Gun 2 with Tom Cruise. Action and adventure hero movies will be working to expand on stories previously mentioned in the 2010s with films like Black Widow and Brids of Prey. As they always do, Disney has some films up their sleeves and will be releasing Mulan with live-action characters and Artemis Fowl.