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Jeremiah S. Chechik's Christmas Vacation has become a movie staple of the holiday season in the years since its release in 1989, and it's not hard to see why. The film has more than a few incredibly memorable moments, from Clark's difficulty with the Griswold home's light display, to his epic, foulmouthed rant about his cheap, jelly-of-the-month-club-as-a-bonus giving boss. As awesome and funny as those scenes are, however, they could have been balanced by some nice dramatic sentimentality in the form of a heart-to-heart moment between Clark and his son, Rusty. And it's all Johnny Galecki's fault that they weren't.
The cast and creators of Christmas Vacation recently all came back together for a special interview organized by Rolling Stone, and during the conversation Johnny Galecki revealed that he put the kibosh on what could have been a key scene in the history of the film and the franchise, and it's something that he regrets to this day. He recalled a day during filming when he was in a group chat with screenwriter John Hughes, Jeremiah Chechik and Chevy Chase, and the subject of a special father-and-son scene was brought up. Chase noted that all of the movies in the Vacation series up to that point had featured a nice man-to-man scene between the Griswold boys, and he was surprised that it was missing in Christmas Vacation. In response, Hughes said that earlier versions of the screenplay had included something like that, but that it had been dropped for the shooting script. Chase was in favor of bringing the sequence back in, but Galecki felt differently. Said the young actor in the interview,
"So they asked what I thought and I said, 'I don't think there's any point. Somebody thought it was worth taking out at some point, so even if we shoot it, it'll probably get taken out again.' I literally talked myself out of what could have been a classic scene with Chevy Chase. Now that I'm a jaded Hollywood fuck, I realize the error of my ways. I still kick myself in the ass for this everyday."
In his response to Johnny Galecki's story, Chevy Chase decided to take the humble approach, and noted all of the success in recent years that his co-star has had with The Big Bang Theory. "Now Galecki's making 100 million a year and I'm sitting here," Chase quipped.
Surely many of you will put a couple hours aside this week to sit down for a screening of Christmas Vacation - even if it doesn't include a sentimental father-son moment - and in potentially even better news for Vacation fans there is a whole brand new movie coming in 2015. Next year we will get to see Ed Helms star in Vacation and become the new version of Rusty Grisworld - following in the footsteps of not just Galecki, but also Anthony Michael Hall, Ethan Embry and Jason Lively. Perhaps the movie can be used as an opportunity to make up for it's holiday-themed predecessor's lacking.