The Next Reel's member bonus episode on Amy Heckerling's 1985 sequel National Lampoon's European Vacation

National Lampoon’s European Vacation

For our August 2021 member bonus episode, we add another film to our current ‘80s Comedy with Coolidge & Heckerling’ series. We talk about Amy Heckerling's sequel to the original hit. Why does it feel subpar though? And is it Heckerling's fault?

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“Honey, we’re not normal people. We’re the Griswalds.”

Perhaps it makes sense in director Amy Heckerling’s career in the mid-80s that she directed National Lampoon’s European Vacation. It does come on the heels of Johnny Dangerously so it fits the laughs she’d been putting out. That being said, it doesn’t necessarily seem like the type of film that would have been what she picked had she been given her druthers. Perhaps if the National Lampoon films had stuck with the stronger satire the magazine originally started with. That would have felt more Heckerling’s style. But National Lampoon’s films seemed to focus on the baser laughs and the more raunchy comedy than the sharp satire. And in the case of this film, it doesn’t ever feel like it’s doing much that its predecessor already covered. But it still generates some dumb laughs, so does that make it bad? Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we extend our ‘80s Comedy with Coolidge and Heckerling’ series for our August 2021 member bonus episode looking at Heckerling’s 1985 film National Lampoon’s European Vacation.

Let’s take our Pig in a Poke costumes off so we can chat about this movie.

Another trip with the Griswalds, but why does this vacation feel so much like the first one? Why couldn’t they figure out how to do something different with the story until—Slow down there, fellow vacationers! This is a member bonus episode. Members got to vote on this movie being featured on the show, and only members get to listen to it. Members also get early access to every show in their very own feed. They get to vote in polls not just for member bonus episodes but also for the Saturday Matinée podcast movie lists. They get stickers. They get access to a livestream when we record our shows. Let’s face it – it’s great being a member! Just follow this link and you can get signed up as well! Join the conversation with movie lovers from around the world on The Next Reel’s Discord channel!

Film Sundries

When the movie ends, our conversation begins.

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