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Vacation is a 2015 American road comedy film written and directed by Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (in their directorial debuts). It stars Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Beverly D Angelo, Chris Hemsworth, and Chevy Chase. It is the fifth and final theatrical installment of the Vacation film series, serving as a standalone sequel to Vegas Vacation (1997). It is also the second not to carry the National Lampoon name after Vegas Vacation, and was released by New Line Cinema and Warner Bros. on July 29, 2015. It grossed $104 million on a $31 million budget and received generally negative reviews.


Rusty Griswold is now working as a pilot for a low budget regional airline called Econo-Air, living in Suburban Chicago and shares a stale relationship with his wife Debbie and their two sons, their shy and awkward 14-year-old James, and their sadistic 12-year-old Kevin, who constantly bullies and torments his older brother. The gloating from his friends Jack and Nancy Peterson about a family trip they had in Paris doesn t help his situation.

He desires to relive the fun of his family vacations and holiday gatherings from his childhood. These memories prompt him to abandon his family s annual trip to their cabin in Cheboygan, Michigan (which the rest of the family secretly hated), and instead drive cross country from Chicago to Walley World, just like he did with his parents and sister. For the trip, Rusty rents a Tartan Prancer, an ugly, over-complicated Albanian SUV.

Along the way, the Griswolds take many detours. The first stop is in Memphis, where it s revealed that the otherwise mild-mannered Debbie was an extremely promiscuous Tri Pi sorority sister in college nicknamed Debbie Do Anything . To prove that she was the rebellious student, Debbie attempts to run an obstacle course while drunk, but fails miserably. While staying at a motel, James meets Adena, a girl his age that he saw while driving on the highway, but she is scared away by Rusty s failed attempts to be a wingman .

In Arkansas, they are led to a supposedly hidden hot spring by a helpful local, eventually realizing that it s actually a raw sewage dump. They return to their SUV, only to see that it s been broken into and sprayed with graffiti, as well as finding their luggage and cash stolen.

They stop in Plano, Texas, to get help from Rusty s sister Audrey and her attractive husband Stone Crandall. Rusty begins to suspect problems in his relationship with Debbie due to her seeming acceptance of Stone s obviously outward sexual advances, but she rebuffs his suspicions; Stone then walks in on the couple and makes a show of his muscular body and oversized genitalia.

Spending the following night at a Wigwam Motel in Arizona, Rusty and Debbie sneak away and attempt to have sex at the Four Corners Monument, where officers from all four states confront the couple. When the officers start arguing about who gets to make the arrest, Rusty and Debbie are able to escape. James encounters Adena again, and finally asserts himself against Kevin thanks to encouragement from Adena.

The next morning, they nearly get killed by Chad, a Grand Canyon rafting guide, who had just been dumped by his fiancé. Later, their SUV runs out of gas in the middle of the desert, and Rusty s unfamiliarity of the key fob causes the vehicle to explode, leading him to walk off dispirited and alone, thinking about the disastrous trip. Unfortunately, they have been tracked down by a seemingly unstable truck driver, who they think has been stalking them throughout the trip. In actuality, the trucker has been instead trying to return Debbie s missing wedding ring. He ends up giving them a lift to San Francisco.

There, they spend the night at a bed and breakfast run by Rusty s parents, Clark and Ellen. They intend to fly home the next day, but Rusty and Debbie confront each other about their stale marriage and decide to start over again. With some encouragement from Clark the next morning, Rusty borrows his father s Wagon Queen Family Truckster and drives Debbie and the boys to Walley World to ride their newest roller coaster, the Velociraptor.

After spending the entire day waiting in line, they are cut off by Ethan, a rival pilot who Rusty knows in Chicago, and his family before the announcement of the park s closing. A fight breaks out, which the Griswolds win, forcing the other family to flee. The Griswolds finally board the ride, but it stalls halfway up the butterfly inversion, and they are rescued after several hours.

Rusty uses his airline connections to book a vacation in Paris with just Debbie and himself after sending the boys home where their neighbors will look after them. On the plane to Paris, they are seated in jump seats next to a lavatory. Exasperated, Debbie learns that it will be a 12-hour flight.


  • Ed Helms as Russell Rusty Griswold, a pilot for Econo-Air living in Suburban Chicago Anthony Michael Hall, Jason Lively, Johnny Galecki, and Ethan Embry appear in archival photos from the previous Vacation films.
  • Anthony Michael Hall, Jason Lively, Johnny Galecki, and Ethan Embry appear in archival photos from the previous Vacation films.
  • Christina Applegate as Debbie Fletcher Griswold, Rusty s wife. Emily Kincaid as young Debbie Fletcher
  • Emily Kincaid as young Debbie Fletcher
  • Skyler Gisondo as James Griswold, Rusty and Debbie s older son. Cameron McIntyre as young James Griswold
  • Cameron McIntyre as young James Griswold
  • Steele Stebbins as Kevin Griswold, Rusty and Debbie s younger son.
  • Chris Hemsworth as Stone Crandall, an up-and-coming anchorman and Audrey s husband.
  • Leslie Mann as Audrey Griswold-Crandall, Rusty s sister. Dana Barron, Dana Hill, Juliette Lewis, and Marisol Nichols appear in archival photos from the previous Vacation films.
  • Dana Barron, Dana Hill, Juliette Lewis, and Marisol Nichols appear in archival photos from the previous Vacation films.
  • Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, Rusty and Audrey s father who now owns a bed and breakfast in San Francisco.
  • Beverly D Angelo as Ellen Griswold, Rusty and Audrey s mother who now owns a bed and breakfast in San Francisco.
  • Charlie Day as Chad, a suicidal river rafting guide who was recently dumped by his girlfriend.
  • Catherine Missal as Adena, James love interest.
  • Ron Livingston as Ethan, an airline pilot and Rusty s rival.
  • Norman Reedus as Trucker, an unnamed truck driver who stalks the Griswold family.
  • Keegan-Michael Key as Jack Peterson, a friend of the Griswold family.
  • Regina Hall as Nancy Peterson, the wife of Jack and friend of the Griswold family.
  • Elizabeth Gillies as Heather, a member of the Tri Pi sorority that is a fan of Debbie.
  • Tim Heidecker as Utah Cop
  • Nick Kroll as Colorado Cop
  • Kaitlin Olson as Arizona Cop
  • Michael Peña as New Mexico Cop
  • Hannah Davis Jeter as The Girl in the Red Ferrari, a different girl driving a Red Ferrari who tries to flirt with Rusty only to get struck by a semi-trailer truck.
  • David Clennon as Co-Pilot
  • Colin Hanks as Jake
  • Ryan Cartwright as Terry
  • John Francis Daley as Robert



In February 2010, it was announced by New Line Cinema (owned by Warner Bros., which released the previous films) that a new Vacation film was being produced. Executive Producer was Steven Mnuchin. Produced by David Dobkin and written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the story focuses on Rusty Griswold as he takes his own family to Walley World.


In July 2012, it was announced that Ed Helms would star in the sequel as Rusty Griswold, who now has his own family misadventures on the road. On March 28, 2013, Variety announced that original series stars Beverly D Angelo and Chevy Chase were in talks to reprise their roles, most likely in the form of a torch-passing cameo role. No mention was made of other series regulars, such as Randy Quaid s Cousin Eddie.

On April 23, 2013, it was reported that the film had been delayed indefinitely, due to creative differences. Later, Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day were also reported to co-star. Skyler Gisondo and Steele Stebbins played Rusty Griswold s sons along with Helms and Christina Applegate. On September 15, Leslie Mann joined the film to play Rusty s sister, Audrey Griswold. On September 29, Keegan-Michael Key and Regina Hall were cast to play family friends of the Griswolds.

On October 10, director Daley revealed in an interview that he might have a cameo with Samm Levine and Martin Starr, which would be a reunion of cult comedy show Freaks and Geeks, though it was not confirmed. On November 12, four actors joined to play Four Corners cops, Tim Heidecker, Nick Kroll, Kaitlin Olson, and Michael Peña.


Principal photography began on September 16, 2014, in Atlanta, Georgia. On September 16, scenes were filmed on location at the Olympic Flame Restaurant.

On September 30 and October 1, 2014, scenes were filmed on location at The Twelve Oaks Bed and Breakfast in historic Covington, Georgia. The Twelve Oaks was staged as Christina Applegate s character s sorority house, Triple Pi, and the location of her attempt to run the obstacle course once more to prove that she is the Chug Run champion.

Other scenes were shot around Piedmont and 6th avenues from October 6 to 8, including at the Shellmont Inn. On October 22, 2014, scenes were filmed at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Scenes for Walley World were filmed at Six Flags Over Georgia.

In a similar vein to the original film s Wagon Queen Family Truckster , the film features a custom-designed minivan named the Tartan Prancer . Dubbed the Honda of Albania , it is a heavily modified Toyota Previa and features unconventional styling elements such as a mirror-image front and rear clip, complete with two sets of headlights (pulled from the Land Rover LR3/Discovery) and rearview mirrors, as well as dashboard buttons marked by nonsensical symbols. As part of a promotional tie-in with the film, released a tongue-in-cheek review comparing the Tartan Prancer against the 2015 Honda Odyssey.


The musical score for the film was composed by Mark Mothersbaugh. A soundtrack album was released by WaterTower Music on July 24, 2015. In addition to Mothersbaugh s score, it features many contemporary songs, along with several renditions of Lindsey Buckingham s Holiday Road (including a remixed and remastered version of the original that plays at the start of the film, and again near the end).


The film was originally set to be released on October 9, 2015, but it was moved to July 31, 2015, before finally being pushed up to July 29, 2015, the 32nd anniversary of the release of the first Vacation film. Warner Bros. spent a total of $35.2 million on advertisement for the film.

Home media

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray on November 3, 2015 by Warner Home Video.


Box office

Vacation grossed $58.9 million in North America and $45.8 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $104.7 million, against a budget of $31 million.

The film grossed $1.2 million from its early Tuesday preview showings, and a combined $6.3 million on Wednesday and Thursday. In its opening weekend, it grossed $14.7 million, finishing second at the box office behind Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation ($55.5 million).

Critical response

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 28% based on 176 reviews and an average rating of 4.30/10. The site s consensus reads, Borrowing a basic storyline from the film that inspired it but forgetting the charm, wit, and heart, Vacation is yet another nostalgia-driven retread that misses the mark. On Metacritic, it has a score of 34 out of 100 based on 33 critics, indicating generally unfavorable reviews . On CinemaScore, audiences gave the film an average grade of B on an A+ to F scale.

Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film a positive review and praised the Kevin Griswold character, saying, The kid with the potty mouth may cost Warner Bros. some business at the box office, but in a strange way he elevates Vacation, a very funny R-rated movie with a PG-13 heart. Chris Nashawaty of Entertainment Weekly gave it a B− rating and wrote, The new Vacation is both better than I d feared and not as hilarious as I d hoped. It s intermittently funny and instantly forgettable. Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, It s a vile, odious disaster populated with unlikable, dopey characters bumbling through mean-spirited set pieces that rely heavily on slapstick fight scenes, scatological sight gags and serial vomiting. Rolling Stone reviewer Peter Travers gave it 1.5 out of 4 stars, saying: Leslie Mann and wild-card Chris Hemsworth, as her cock-flashing hubby, get the heartiest hoots. The rest is comic history warmed over.


Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
Golden Raspberry Awards Worst Supporting Actor Chevy Chase Nominated
MTV Movie Awards Best Kiss Leslie Mann and Chris Hemsworth Nominated

Year 2015
ReleaseDate 2015-07-29
RuntimeMins 99
RuntimeStr 1h 39min
Plot Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.
Awards Awards, 1 win & 3 nominations
Directors John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein
Writers Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, John Hughes
Stars Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo
Produced by Chris Bender, Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown, David Dobkin, Toby Emmerich, Marc S. Fischer, Jeff Kleeman, Steven Mnuchin, Dave Neustadter
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography by Barry Peterson
Film Editing by Jamie Gross
Casting By Lisa Beach, Sarah Katzman
Production Design by Barry Robison
Art Direction by Jeremy Woolsey
Set Decoration by Margaret Hungerford
Costume Design by Debra McGuire
Makeup Department Suzanna Boykin, Mary Castor, Lynn Cole, Moe Coles, Lawrence Davis, Kimberly Jones, Hagen Linss, Saj Mack, Sarah Mays, Lindsay McAllister, Ashley McGuire, Kelly Muldoon, Matthew W. Mungle, Donna M. Premick, Ashley Pullins, Carol Rasheed, Monty Schuth, Shunika Terry, Leay Cangelosi, Prescilla Jean Olay
Production Management Marc S. Fischer, Allison Furgal, Jody Levin, Peter J. Novak
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Greg Guzik, Robert S. Hoffman, Bruce Jones, G. Peter King, Todd Manes, Jonathan McGarry, Braheeim Roberts, Paul Schmitz, Jason J. Scott, Shea Vargé, Townson Wells
Art Department Victor Anderson, Jeanne Bijkerk, Wren Boney, Laurie Bookhardt, Maxwell Britton, Richard Brunton, James Carson, Sam Carter, Mallorie Coleman, Russ Dickerson, Scott Einbinder, Jack Finch, Jamie James Free, Matthew Gatlin, Michael Green, Thomas Sam Hall, Nicholas Hatfield, Todd Hatfield, William Craig Johnson, David G. Jones, Julie Kobsa, Nathan Krochmal, Charlotte Lee, Eliot Levin, E. Aaron Linker, Landon Lott, Stacie McKinnon McAdam, Walt Mikolwski, Ron Butch Montgomery, William Mullis, Beth Petty, Kelly Richardson, Erik Louis Robert, Michael Sabo, Blake Shelton, Daniel F. Simmons, Vera Smith, Mazzy Solana, David Sutton, William Thibodeau, Tammie Chunn Trimble, George M. Turner Jr., James Bryant Wactor, Zoey Wang, Jerry West, Shawn Windisch, Ryan Falkner, Eric Swymer
Sound Department Ulrika Akander, Gregg Barbanell, Jedediah Barton, Thomas J. Doolittle, Mary H. Ellis, Russell Farmarco, Tammy Fearing, Danny Ferraro, Donald Flick, Marc Glassman, Matthew P. Hanson, Catherine Harper, Gregg Landaker, Alexander Lowe, Darrin Mann, Steve Morantz, Chris Navarro, Thomas J. O Connell, James Peterson, Benjamin Rauscher, Brad Sherman, Cameron Steenhagen, Elijah Weber, Elmo Weber, Ulrika Akander
Special Effects by Ryan D. Compton, Skylar Gorrell, Harry Hurst, Amanda Leigh, Mark Nave, Jossakeed Profit, Steve Riley, Chris Sciacca, Dean Tyrrell, Russell Tyrrell, Jake Valdez, Danielle Vigil, Antoinette Zavala
Visual Effects by Erika Abrams, Dave Isaac Santos Abuel, Thomas Bevan, Mike Borgstrom, Andrew Brooks, Liz Calandrello, Hunter Chase, Jadrien Cousens, Erin M. Cullen, Spencer Dinney, Scott Dougherty, Brett Dowler, Jacob Eaton, Jamie Erickson, Niall Flinn, John Grower, Peter Hart, Marc Horsfield, Jason Howey, Charlotte Jacobson, Bruce Jones, Anastazja Karolewska, Simran Khalsa, Mi Jung Kim, SangHun Kwon, David Lingenfelser, Philip Lücke, Yarin Manes, Kirsten Meekison, Darshan Mehta, Harsh Mistry, Mike Mulock, Karen M. Nichols, Nikolett Papp, Kye Yong Peck, Chi Pham, Nick Romick, Hamish Schumacher, Rasoul Shafeazadeh, Drew Shields, Aleksandra Sienkiewicz, Joseph Silva, Jye Skinn, Stephen Smart, Ian Sorensen, Brett Stapleton-French, Naomi Stopa, Alex Tang, Joel Thompson, Tim Weber, Bruce Woloshyn, Mike Yip, Chris B. Schnitzer
Stunts Genevieve Aitken, Kelli Barksdale, Brent Bernhard, Emily Brobst, Richard Burden, Laurie Creach, Alex Duke, Jazzy Ellis, Robert Foster Jr., Kieran Gallagher, Gavin Goodell, Lydia Hand, Kurt Hockenberry, Owen Holland, Crystal Hooks, Scott Hunter, Ben Jensen, Gary Jensen, Nicholas E. Jones, G. Peter King, David Paul Lord, Aby Martin, Anderson Martin, Chris McLaughlin, Jessica Merideth, Dorenda Moore, Josh Mueller, Daniel Norris, Jay Pearson, Víctor Quintero, Corrina Roshea, Ann Scott, Rick Seaman, Jimmie Lee Sessoms, Laurie Singer, Remington Steele, Ashley Rae Trisler, Jimmy Waitman, Michele Waitman, Tina Wanner, Mitchell Warren, Todd Warren, Cheyenne Watson
Camera and Electrical Department Charlotte Acker, Rose Ashikyan, Denise Bailie, Joseph Blankinship, Robert Branam, Jeremy Burgess, Carlos Castrillon, Bill Chapman, Tim Christie, Cristen Clark, Kelly Clear, Eric Collins, James M. Cox, Jimmy Culligan, Conor Daily, Ross Davis, Thomas DeRose, Eric DeWolf, Julie Donovan, Tyler Emmett, Terry Fitzpatrick, Matt Fortlage, Joey Gandolfi, Vincent Gandolfi, Wesley Garrison, Joshua Gilbert, Daniel C. Gold, David Goldsmith, Kurt Grossi, Josh Hackney, William Hickox, Sammy Ray Hill, Robert Hodges, Andrew Hoehn Jr., Paul Hughen, Violet Jackson, McKay Johnson, Michael Kelem, Dustin Keller, Michael D. Kennedy, Jeff Kluttz, Robby Kraft, John Lally, Lee Thomas Lee, Daniel John Lerch, Jason Lerczak, Jeff Locke, Field Manley, Carson E. Mayne, Douglas McCormick, Christopher TJ McGuire, Greg Morse, Michael Nelson, Laura Ostapiej, James H. Pair III, Robin Roles, Jacob Ross, Michael Sannuti, Paul Santoni, Paul Schmidt, Jonathan Smiley, Michael Stippich, Hopper Stone, Tony Summerlin, Frederick Scott Trimble, Dylan Trivette, Joel C. Warren, John Waterman, Justin Wells, Paul E. Woods
Animation Department Olney Atwell, Polly Burokas, Collin Pisarra
Casting Department Natalia Breslauer, Ranjani Brow, Claire Dempsey, Ashley Lambert, Jamie Maddox, Erik McIntyre, Deedra Ricketts, Dana Salerno, Tammy L. Smith, Amber Wakefield
Costume and Wardrobe Department Erika Arnold, Carl Ulysses Bowen, Mackenzie Caddell, Toni Cunningham, Sarah Downer, Kate Duke, Erinique Ellison, Helen Huang, Erinn Knight, Joseph T. Mastrolia, Alexandra McGee, Andrea Medina, Yasmeen Mezenner, Les Morgan, Rebecca Russell, Johnna Thomas, Korii Young
Editorial Department J.R. Benson, Liz Calandrello, Richard Caputo, Christine Choi, David Egan, Jason Gudasz, David B. Hall, Jeff Halsey, John Elliott Houston, Madelaine Jereczek, Kyle King, Mato, Dov Samuel, Pamela Scott-Farr, Kostas Theodosiou, Woody
Location Management Kamelya Alexan, Ryan Dirkes, Stephen Dirkes, Mark A. Freid, Stephanie Humphreys, Ted Kim, Marge Ramos, Marc Del Santro, Ian Simpson, Cryselle Stewart, Ryan Christopher Taylor, Jason R. Williams, Andy Turner, John David Wolfe
Music Department Kim Baum, Tom Brown, Reid Bruton, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Hugh Denniston, Jessica Dolinger, Candy Emberley, Justin Fleuriel, Margaret Gardner, William Kenneth Goldman, Mark Graham, Christopher Guardino, Brad Haehnel, Tom Hardisty, James Hayden, Riley Hughes, Dave Jordan, Adriana Manfredi, Ric Markmann, Stephen Mildwater, Shannon Murphy, Victor Pesavento, Ray Plaza, Drea Pressley, Jasper Randall, Ryan Robinson, Peter Rotter, Andrew Rowan, James T. Sale, Naomi Sato, Louie Schultz, Fletcher Sheridan, Rob Simmons, Mama Jan Smith, Jojo Villanueva, Suzanne Waters, Joe Zimmerman, Trygge Toven
Script and Continuity Department Dea Cantu, Lori Grabowski, Lee Eisenberg, Dan Fybel, Rich Rinaldi, Melissa K. Stack, Gene Stupnitsky, Adam Sztykiel
Transportation Department Ryan Allen, Marc Anton, Orlando Avila, Bryant Cain, Arthur C. Chesser, Mark Corley, Erik Coutts, Robert Foster Jr., Ashley Hinson, Chasteen Joe, James Jordan, Daniel La Fave, Steve Lewis, Brian J. Louis, Glenn McMurray, Brandon Mullen, George A. Sack, Darrell Scott, Wayne Short, Vernon Stacey, Gabe Turiello, Thomas Van Schaick, Rob Verdery, David White, David Carlton White
Additional Crew Mackenzie Micki Wheeler, Dan Ahn, Forrest Alsobrook, Landon Armstrong, Gaytra Arnold, Jimmy Badstibner, David Baggelaar, Nayisha Bargblor, Ryan Bartley, Owen Beam, Billy Bolton, David Michael Brown, Sean Patrick Burke, Bridgett Buss, Jim Cadenhead, Richard Castro, Wen-Chia Chang, Lindsey Cohen, Rachel Coscia, Maggie Crumps, Jarrod Daniel, Kevin Dowling, Elizabeth Driscoll, Kyle Dunleavy, Jesse Dunn, Britt Dvorak, Matthew Eldridge, Stephen Engels, Eric Paul Erickson, Chase Fein, Jeremy Fischer, Cliff Fleming, Cory Fleming, Jonathan Foust, Stephanie Fraser, Jordan Scott Garrett, Larry Gilbert, David Goodin, Ed Gorre, Drew Grant, Adam Haracz, Brett Harris, Blake H. Hughes, Marc Karzen, Staci Knighton, Austin Lapierre, David Linck, Matt Lombardo, Ilana McAllister, Lindsay McAllister, Dennis McCarthy, Tracy L. Moody, Kayla Moore, Patrick E. Padilla, Scott Parker, Nate Patterson, Roxanne Paul, Aaron J. Porter, Kim Ramage, Lance Resch-Anger, Kirk Riley, Matt Salazar, Ashley Renee Saunders, Andrew Sitter, Joni Smith, Jaime Taylor, Landon Trawny, Greg Tresan, Oren Tuvia, Taylor Vaughn, Thomas Ward, Shannon Williams, Zach Zoller, Kavita Amar, Owen Beam, Matthew Eldridge, Gabriela Hernandez, Emily Kincaid, Gabriel Manak, Tessa O Toole, Shannon Reis, Jennifer Stump Wyatt
Genres Adventure, Comedy
Companies BenderSpink, David Dobkin Productions, New Line Cinema
Countries USA
Languages English
ContentRating R
ImDbRating 6.1
ImDbRatingVotes 113912
MetacriticRating 34
Keywords vacation,road trip,dysfunctional family,amusement park,sequel