Brad and Kate have been together three years, in love, having fun, doing all sorts of things together with no intention of marriage or children. Christmas morning, they're on their way to Fiji, having told their two sets of divorced parents that they're off to do charity work. Through a fluke, they have no choice but to visit each of their four idiosyncratic parents. As the day progresses, Brad and Kate remember growing up, each learns more about the other, and Kate realizes that her life may not be as good as it could be. Do they know each other well enough to weather the storms families bring? Written by
Brad referred to Burma as an Asian "island nation". It is not an island: its southern border is its only coastal border (although this might be due to the fact that he's lying to his parents about going to Burma - his lie is so ill-conceived that he doesn't even know this basic fact). See more »
Cassie! That marker in your mouth, I peed on it!
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Has about as much Christmas spirit as a Friday the 13th film - although the horny characters are still present.
It's been a while since Hollywood gave us a genuinely good Christmas movie worth seeing. If you notice, the Christmas TV line-up is the same each year and the most modern film usually on the list is THE SANTA CLAUSE (1993). This just goes to show that, sadly, Hollywood isn't creating Christmas classics as it once did. Perhaps one of these years we will get a Christmas film reminiscent of the ones we love to watch on TV every year, but this ain't that year - or at least FOUR CHRISTMASES isn't that film.
The problem doesn't lie within the film's premise, but in the actual events that play out in the film. Kate and Brad live life with and for each other and that's it. They don't have much contact with their families - where each parent is divorced and some remarried - and each Christmas opt for a tropical vacation, telling their families they are doing charity work instead. All in all, they are happy with each other, but have buried their family issues. However, this year they get caught in their lie and are forced to visit each parent individually, celebrating a total of four Christmases. In the hands of an able and creative script writer this film could have been quite enjoyable as both Kate and Brad learn to appreciate their families and not exclude certain things - mainly marriage and children - in their lives just because their parents are bad examples of them. Instead, each visit with a parent seems to be a drawn out slapstick or sex joke and nothing else and is just not in any way funny or clever.
The film suffers from a lack of intelligence and it is shocking that it attracted the star power it did. The star's talents are hardly used and instead the film opts for over-sexed relatives, ultra violent brothers and insanely disobedient children - who get no reprimanding for their actions. As a genre of film that almost lends itself to families this one missed the mark and is not recommended for the kids. As an adult-geared Christmas film it just isn't funny. Adult humor can be funny and appropriate if there is other substance backing up the film - see 'KNOCKED UP' or 'FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.' All we are offered in FOUR CHRISTMASES is one boring and uninspired vignette after the next with paper-thin character development and uninteresting characters.
With rarely an enjoyable moment and an atmosphere that provides almost no Christmas spirit, FOUR CHRISTMASES shouldn't be on anyone's list of holiday films. It is the awkward gift given by a relative. You know the type. It comes in a pretty package, but upon opening you find that it is a pair of underwear or a sweater that is designed to sit at the back of closets. This film surely will.
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