America doesn't gamble enough.

We need to legalize betting of all kinds and put up stalls on every street corner where anyone can just walk up and bet on whether or not the next woman to cross the street will be a blonde. We need to start teaching our children the ins and outs of card counting at an early age to prepare them for the hallowed halls of Vegas, Reno, and various Indian Territories.

Oh sure, we've got the lottery and Keno, hold me down as I yelp in utter glee, but we need more. A slot machine in every Denny's, video poker in our churches, and Cigarette girls in skimpy outfits showing lots and lots of leg at every gas station.

By gum, we need to turn the world into Los Vegas!

Well since we can't do that for various ethical and legal reasons, the good people at Warner Brothers decided to do the next best thing, make a movie about it.

Vegas Vacation is that movie. You know these movies, you know what's going to happen, you know Chevy Chase as Clark Griswald is going to do a lot of silly things and that everything about his vacation is going to fall down about him.

And it's still funny.

Now I will be the first to tell you, this is not a great movie. It's not original. it's not an incredibly written script with an engrossing plot. The acting is not of the highest quality and there are no great effects anywhere in this movie. But it is pretty damn funny.

It's everything Vegas needs to be, which is glitzy and gaudy. This movie is as much a reflection of the city than anything else. I mean you got the mob, and just how wonderful it is to be a part of it, you've got top Vegas entertainment and just how friendly and inviting they can be, you've got a lush, hot and sexy nightlife that can lure and corrupt our youth, and you got a gamble-a-holic and a merciless card dealer.

What's more, this movie knows what the people want, even if only for the little things. Case in point, a one-line throw-away part given to Playboy Playmate of the Year Corinna Harney. mmm...Corinna...

But anyway.

The Vacation movies have gone from wonderful (National Lampoon's Vacation) to awful (European Vacation) to surprisingly amusing (Christmas Vacation. And this fourth installment (can you believe there have been four of these things?) remains at the level of Christmas Vacation. Watch Chevy squirm.

You know, I love Chevy Chase. I think the man is damn funny, and I laugh a lot when I watch him. If you are like me, then you will enjoy Vegas Vacation. If you think he is a whiny dweeb who needs to realize that he hasn't been funny since the first Fletch movie, then stay away, you won't like it. And you're a big poo-poo head.

But the big question about this movie is, does it deliver? Does it make you want to get up and gamble? Yup. After the movie, I was so bitten with the betting bug that I dropped a five-spot on a bum who challenged me to find him something he couldn't eat. I lost, and I shall miss my shoe, it was a good one.

I grant Vegas Vacation 3 Babylons. It's idiot humor at it's best without trying to gross you out or anything. I mean come on, these are the Griswalds! Americana at its finest! The kids change ages every movie and are completely unrecognizable!

Go on, indulge yourself. You know you want to.

Editor's Note:

Well I guess he's done trying to see the Academy Award Nominees. Personally, I'm surprised how well he did before jumping back into his regular diet of trash flicks. I mean who knew he'd actually see Secrets & Lies or Shine? Hell, not me. If I had, I would have done better in the pool.

Oh yeah, gambling is bad, blah, blah, blah. This isn't an endorsement of improper or illegal behavior, blah, blah, blah. Don't try this at home, blah, blah, blah.

Anyone know who won in the NCAA tournament yesterday? I got some money riding on Kansas and Xavier.

Legal Disclaimer Against Gambling:

Gambling is an addiction. If you or any of your loved ones suffer from this affliction, you should seek professional help. There are a number of official organizations which can help you or someone you love take control of their life. Some are better than others. You'll just have to take a risk and pick one, and hope you get lucky. Or you can seek professional help over the phone by calling 555-4321. Every twentieth caller wins a free pen, so call often. To write for an information booklet pick up an entry form at any post office or public school and send it in. Be sure to scratch the back to see if you've won the Jeep. Void where prohibited, no purchase necessary.