Parents' Guide to

National Lampoon's European Vacation

By Sierra Filucci, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Second National Lampoon vacation comedy has sex, fatphobia.

Movie PG-13 1985 95 minutes
National Lampoon's European Vacation Movie Poster: Illustration of the Griswold family posing in a swords-and-sandals movie style

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 11 parent reviews

age 18+

Kinda funny

I remember watching this movie as a kid and thinking it was hilarious. It had been at least 20 years since I had last seen it, so when I ran across it at the library I decided to take a trip down memory lane. Whoa!! I don't know where my parents were, but this movie is definitely not for kids. There are some funny parts, but overall, I'd probably not watch it again. Lots of swearing and full frontal nudity. Stick with Christmas Vacation.
age 18+

NOT for family movie night

The movie starts off with a very uncomfortable scene where a game host (a grown man) greets the family by shaking the father's hand, french kissing the mom, ignores the son, and takes his sweet time french kissing the little girl. Swear words, stereotypes, body shaming, and nudity scenes. Completely inappropriate for children- not a family movie.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (11 ):
Kids say (22 ):

This broad comedy touches on all the funny and awful elements of family travel, from bickering siblings to managing unfamiliar customs. But teens might cringe at the way they're portrayed in National Lampoon's European Vacation, with Audrey obsessed with her boyfriend and accepting toxic messages about her body and Rusty falling into macho clichés about "boys being boys," getting drunk, and seeing his fair share of breasts. While the movie clearly aims to poke fun at extreme behaviors, some younger viewers might not understand the complexity of the issues.

At face value, the movie's typical slapstick stuff -- poking someone in the groin, silly car chases, etc. -- provides mild amusement, and a few scenes (like when the family lose their luggage and go boutique shopping in Italy) are truly laugh-out-loud. But the jokes that don't work fall incredibly flat, such as laughing at a teen girl who exhibits all the traits of an eating disorder, or having a much older man force a passionate kiss onto her. If you can get past these relics of 1980s-style humor, you might be able to find something to enjoy during the rest of the movie.

Movie Details

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