Vacation Evaluation: Feminist Film Review

1.) Back in the early 1980's, National Lampoon's Vacation was released starring Chevy Chase. It was the story of how a father, Clark, wants to take his wife, Ellen, and two kids, Audrey and Rusty, to Walley World (a fictional amusement park). The entire point of the trip to Walley World was to get his family to bond, and ride the "famous" roller coaster attraction they offered at the park. Throughout the entire journey, the Griswold's hit literal and non literal road blocks. It was a comedy with some outrageous moments, and heartfelt ones as well. Yet, this is not the movie I will be analyzing. Instead, I am reviewing the movie, Vacation, released in 2015 and starring Ed Helms and Christina Applegate. The remake, Vacation, was centered around the son, Rusty Grisworld, seeing the carnage his family dynamic represented and wanting to change it. Therefore, the character decided to rent a car and take his family to Walley World, just as his father did with him. Just as the original, the family endured some hilarious and moving moments throughout the movie. 

To begin with, the Bechdel test is a set of three requirements to be used to decide if a movie/show/etc. portrays women well in the media. The test was created by a cartoonist, Alison Bechdel, in one of her comics. The three requirements/rules of the test are: the movie must have two female lead characters (or characters with names), who talk to each other, and it can not be about a man. While analyzing my movie, I tried to decipher where the Bechdel test could come into play. There is one scene in particular that happened early on in the movie that relates. The wife of the main character, portrayed by Christina Applegate, is hosting a dinner with her family and her neighbors. Applegate and the other mother are having a side conversation about travelling, Instagram photos, liking said Instagram photos, etc. 

2.) My new anti-gender bias test is that a movie is worth seeing if the two main characters are not chasing after one another or a separate partner. Instead, they are trying to achieve an appropriate end goal, that does not have to do with finding love. 

In the movie, Vacation, there are countless examples of this test. Now named, the Vacation Evaluation test. Throughout the movie, the end goal is to unite the family as a whole and repair relationships. While the mother and father do try to reconnect in their own relationship, the main objective of the plot does not revolve around this.