Today: April 24, 2024

Funniest On Screen Families

The Griswolds are back in hilarious comedy Vacation – out in cinemas now. The film follows on from the National Lampoon classics and, in true Griswold-style, disaster strikes the next generation of the calamitous family as they embark on a cross-country road-trip.

In Vacation, a grown up Rusty Griswold decides to take his warring family on a road trip to ‘Walley World’ just as his dad had done with him when he was a kid. Unsurprisingly they get involved in some awkward, x-rated, but hilarious situations. Writing and directing duo John Daley and Jonathon Goldstein believe that the Vacation films are so popular because “there’s a little bit of Griswold in everyone, and that relatability makes it funny to watch them go through unfortunate circumstances.”

In terms of working out what an older Rusty Griswold would be like, they went on to explain that “I think we took advantage of the fact that Rusty had been played by four different actors in four different movies so it was a bit of a blank slate and then we kind of wrote it a bit to Ed Helms once we had him. That said we want to have some of the personality traits from Clark Griswold since he was his son so I think that he has that desperation to have a good time that Clark had but he’s probably a more bright eyed, innocent character than Clark was.”

To celebrate the release, join us as we list off our top Funniest On Screen Families … But where do the Griswold’s come in this laughable lineup? Why not share your thoughts with us on Twitter?

The McAllisters, Home Alone (1990)
One the most popular Christmas films ever made, Home Alone sees the McAllisters forget their young son Kevin (Macauley Culkin) as they head to Paris for the holidays. His parents are understandably worried but Kevin is in his element as he eats ice cream in bed, watches R rated movies and defends his home from the dastardly Wet Bandits. Eventually though, Kevin realises that he needs and misses his family, even his bullying big brother and grumpy uncle.Meanwhile, Kevin’s mum desperately tries to get home to him by bribing plane passengers and catching a lift with a polka band. And like a true Christmas miracle the crazy family are reunited on Christmas day.

The Fockers, Meet the Fockers (2003)
Following on from successful comedy Meet The Parents, Meet The Fockers sees engaged couple Greg and Pam decide it’s time to introduce their two families to each other. Greg (Ben Stiller) is worried about what his fiancée’s straight-laced family will think of his more eccentric parents and unsurprisingly the fun-loving Fockers and prudish Byrnes clash. Featuring toilet cats, synthetic breast feeding and elderly sex advice, the coming-together of these families goes from awkward moment to awkward moment but eventually both families embrace their differences and work together on the wedding of their children.

The Hoovers, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
This award-winning comedy drama tells the story of the Hoovers, who decide to drive to California when daughter Olive (Abigail Breslin) is selected to take place in a beauty pageant. The dysfuctional family clash throughout the trip but when tragedy strikes, the group work together to make Olive’s dream a reality (even if that means breaking a few laws). When they make it to the pageant, they realise how unprepared their daughter is and end up joining her on stage for her dance number to save her from embarrassment in one of the most uplifting and funny scenes in modern cinema.

The Banks’, Father Of The Bride (1991)
George Banks (Steve Martin) is understandably protective when his daughter announces her engagement to a man she’s known for three months. Despite the groom’s good family and successful job, George nevertheless takes it upon himself to try and break off the engagement and ruin the wedding any way he can, resulting in some truly cringey moments. His wife (Diane Keaton) tries to keep him level-headed and ultimately the father of the bride realises how much his future son-in-law loves his daughter and gives their wedding his blessing.

Vacation is out in cinemas now.

Paula Hammond - Features Editor

Paula Hammond is a full-time, freelance journalist. She regularly writes for more magazines than is healthy and has over 25 books to her credit. When not frantically scribbling, she can be found indulging her passions for film, theatre, cult TV, sci-fi and real ale. If you should spot her in the pub, after five rounds rapid, she’ll be the one in the corner mumbling Ghostbusters quotes and waiting for the transporter to lock on to her signal… Email:

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