Reviewing one movie at a time…

Four Christmases (2008)


Four Christmases (2008)

Running Time: 1 hrs 28 mins – Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring:  Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Mary Steenburgen  – Directed by Seth Gordon

Synopsis:  A new age couple think that they have life & relationships all figured out.  Going home for christmas for them was more of a chore than a joy but this christmas their plans didn’t quite work out as planned.  Visiting each of their divorced parents in one day would be quite the task for anyone and it proves to be family that pulls them through.  “you can’t spell families without Lies.  Am I right?”

Big JD (host)

This movie is one of those untraditional Christmas comedies.  Albeit the idea of this movie is very original and mostly typical of how today’s society is with Christmas.  So, what makes a  Four Christmases Christmas movie and does this pass?  Well, it has to take place during Christmas.  Check.  Does it have lots of Christmas music?  Check.  Does it have anything about the “Meaning of Christmas”?  Check… kinda.  It’s more of how the Meaning of Christmas can bring families together and even though some of our families are dysfunctional we are there because we love them.  When you have a large cast as this it’s hard not to like these families.

Vince Vaughn’s acting is nothing you haven’t seen before.  His role in this movie is exactly the same as any other comedy role I’ve seen him in.  Nothing surprising actually.  I was kinda expecting that anyway.  Reese did decent with her part.  I thought the acting/writing of the “brother’s” were a bit cliché.  I was kinda hoping for some resolution with that but none was given.  Actually, I was hoping for some resolution between Orlando and his father as well.  Come to find out they kept him an awful prick.  Not to be petty and speak ill of someone on Christmas or anything.  Maybe the overacting on most of the casts part was intentional and maybe it was done so that you understood the vast differences each family had.    That could be a mix of Acting/Writing.  One final thing about the writing.  The “get her back” speech at the end was probably the worst I’ve ever heard in a Romantic Comedy.  It was very weak, and I wouldn’t have taken him back with it.  Actually, I thought she was overreacting in the first place so, yeah I guess it evens out.

I did enjoy the differences between the families and as they visited each family they changed as a couple one family at a time.  Which makes sense.  You really can’t grow as a couple until you meet each others family.  You have to understand where your spouse came from to help understand who they are.  Kristin Chenowith‘s Cleavage was actually so distracting I really don’t know what else was going on in the film with every scene she was in.  I’m ok with that.  Really.  The funny parts were written to be funny.  They were, it felt forced at times but I laughed a few times.  It felt more like “Meet The Parents” / “Anything Can Go Wrong” type of funny but it worked.

One thing that I have to warn parents about.  Very Important.  If your child still believes in Santa Claus DO NOT LET THEM WATCH THIS MOVIE.  There is  a scene in it that I’m glad my kids did not see.  We got lucky.  Basically it’s Vince Vaughn telling a kid that Santa doesn’t exist and you might be able to explain it away to your kids but it’s not good.

On the whole it was a decent Christmas movie watch but not a stellar effort.  I wouldn’t even say that this would be in our Christmas movie rotation.  Easily forgettable.  The ending leaves you like… ok?  “So, it’s all good?  Ok.  Decent movie.”

3.5‘s

Willie Good-Cook

-Cootie Kate FTW!-

Ok, so this movie reminded me a lot of meet the parents x4 with a little Christmas sprinkled in. There was a very large ensemble cast which consisted mostly of B movie actors, tv actors, and actors with their career in decline. It’s like the casting director took the best of what was left and threw them all into this movie. Though the cast was sub par, along with the plot, the movie itself was fairly entertaining. There were some very funny moments.

Reese Witherspoon and babies just don’t mix. Vince Vaughn has one or two characters he can play…that is it. (Which is still one more character than Seth Rogan.) Another problem with this movie as how they introduce more of the cast, have them around for ten to twenty minutes, then they are done for the movie. It felt like the movie jumped around a lot and inhibited the character development. Mostly it was just about how embarrassing their own families were and how quickly they could get the protagonists to say “Mistletoe”.

My favorite scene had to be the intro scene. At first i thought that was how they had met, but later it is made clear that they are doing a little role playing. After that, it was mostly just painful to watch (Like meet the parents.) I think all of us can relate to not wanting to go to their own family get-togethers. We all have at least one family member we are embarrassed to introduce new people too. (Sorry uncle Fred.) This movie hammers that point home.

The ending also had me laughing. I would totally sue that camera crew. Never once did they sign a waiver or anything saying it was ok to record them. Seemed a little far fetched, but it worked in the movie. I also didn’t feel Vince and Reese were a good couple. He is way to much of a d bag and she is way to sweet to stand for his BS for very long.

-Suggestion-

A decent movie. Not the most original, but still ok. Red box it, don’t buy it.

2.5‘s

Ran-Dizzle

Where to start… So basically imagine you don’t want to visit your family for the holidays…I can relate to that, But then not only are you trying to get away from not 2 sets….but 4, dear god I feel their pain. This movie does seem to standardize modern everyday holidays not just Christmas… I know growing up it was a fight to spend the holidays at home, not going to this grandparents house, or the other ones as well.

The Acting in this movie was decent. Vince Vaughn plays his normal self, “Greasy” Reese Witherspoon “Cootie Kate” which makes it all the better did pretty ok job. Was very shocked at Robert Duvall’s Character and for about 80% of the movie I thought…That’s it…that’s all he’s got, Jon Favreau did ok, Was shocked when I saw Tim McGraw’s Character didn’t even recognize him. (Yes I knew he’s been in acting, but just couldn’t figure out who he was until the credits.)

Something I think that kind of bothered me a little about the story lines, were yes there are 4 Christmases…however they only did 20 min segments worth at each house, plus the drama towards the end. I felt like the stories at the houses were never really explained just this is what happened and now we are in the now…not the then situations. Like with the Best Friend of Orlando and that whole how did this come to be..

Other then few little flaws in the storylines like mentioned above..and the fact the news crews didn’t follow protocol (But it’s Hollywood.) It was a pretty good Christmas Movie… Would not watch it with kids because of the SPOILER ALERT in the movie.

3.5‘s

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