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Four Christmases starring Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, I suppose
I can accept it, just very strange seeing them as a couple on screen
together. But anyways, every year we get a Chrismas movie, it's either
going to be fun or really bad, sorry to say, but Four Christmases is
nothing special, another year with an easy to forget movie. But still
while this movie doesn't really stand out and it is incredibly
predictable, there are some really fun moments. We at least finally
have the split up family vs just one crazy family. Reese really turned
on the charm and stole this movie, she was so adorable and she was
great in the jump jump scene with the evil kids. Vince had some moments
as well, but it's more the supporting cast that was just a fun addition
to the story.
When upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple Kate and Brad find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their exotic vacation plans morph into the family-centric holiday they had, until now, gleefully avoided. Out of obligation-and unable to escape-they trudge to not one, not two, but four relative-choked festivities, increasingly mortified to find childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened...and their very future together uncertain. As Brad counts the hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents, siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews, Kate is starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock. And by the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their crazy families' choices are not so crazy after all.
I would recommend Four Christmases just if you wanna see a cute holiday movie in the theater this year. Vince and Reese had good chemistry and this movie just represents the craziness of having to go to all the families every year for Christmas. There are some really good laughs here and there, I loved the scene where Reese played the Virgin Mary and Vince was Joesph in their church play and Reese just gets stage fright and freezes while Vince just makes a fool of himself on stage. Over all this is a cute movie, there's nothing special about it, but it's worth the look.
Sigh. Another potentially funny Hollywood comedy hits the skids when it
encounters a message. The message here seems to be, "Families Are
Hideous And Awful, But Everyone Should Be Forced To Have One". No, I
don't understand the logic of that either.
The families are made up of 4 sets of familiar comedy archetypes - the yokels, the interfering women, the religious kooks and - um - the fourth set who the writers couldn't be bothered to make interesting or unusual. I suppose you can't blame them for losing interest - I know I had.
Phoned-in performances and a faxed-in script result in a charmless, pointless holiday film. The only good thing about it is the charisma of the leads, and a funny appearance by Jon Favreau. But seriously, you would be better advised to watch National Lampoon's Xmas Vacation again instead.
To be fair, I should explain right away I had no intention of seeing
this movie at all not to mention Vince Vaughn hasn't done anything very
good like Swingers and Made in some time (to me, Wedding Crashers and
The Break Up were just O.K.). In fact, the bitter taste from last
year's disappointing Fred Claus was still present when my girlfriend
said she wanted to see this movie tonight. Of course, I cringed at the
idea while mildly protesting but eventually gave in with the prospect
of secretly indulging in an unspoken "I told you so". Only kidding,
that thought never crossed my mind...
Anyways, I didn't even really know what this was about before seeing it but it didn't take long for the plot to be outlined after a pretty funny scene at the airport. Basically, after 3 years of avoiding spending time with their families on Christmas (remember, you can't spell families without "lies"), Kate and Brad find themselves in an unfortunate situation this year that forces them to spend Christmas with their divorced parents and very dysfunctional siblings. This concept could go either way for me because I really liked Christmas Vacation but disliked The Family Stone. Fortunately, just as it started out great this continued to be more like Christmas Vacation all the way through with several laugh out loud funny dialog and various slapstick that had the whole theater roaring with laughter. One of my favorite parts was a Nativity play where Vince Vaughn effectively delivers some hilarious over the top scenery chewing that had everybody in stitches... well, except Kate.
As funny as I thought this was, it wouldn't be a real Christmas movie without delivering some sort of constructive message among all the chaos. Since I can empathize with Vaughn in his situation with Kate, the film's resolution probably had more personal impact for me. I can also understand the criticism that most of the talented cast was wasted in comparison because the family situations were not addressed equally. What I liked the most about the film's brief serious turn is it wasn't syrupy while providing some genuine touching moments thanks to the believable acting skills of Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn and of course the two screen legends, Bobby DuVall and Jon Voight. Best Christmas movie I've seen since Bad Santa and yes, I will listen to my girlfriend's suggestions without being such a Scrooge from now on:)
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is without a doubt one of the worst movies of 2008. The movie suffers from the lack of chemistry between Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. It's the core of the movie and we never believe in them as a couple. We drift through the movie from one embarrassingly unfunny scene to another including a sequence where Vaughn's brothers, who are Ultimate Fighters attack him, an attempt to put up a satellite dish where everyone and everything falls over. More pitiful scenes follow. A reenactment of the nativity scene is presumably added to pad this garbage out and just when you think things can't get worse....they do! The final 10 minutes goes for soppy sentimaentality with the couple's 'relationship' which is totally out of keeping with this surprisingly mean spirited 'comedy'. It doesn't matter since we never believed in them as a pair to begin with. This train wreck is ended when a baby, for the second time, projectile vomits over Reese Witherspoon. An unbelievably awful film.
Greetings again from the darkness. Vince Vaughn is starting to remind
me of what Woody Allen went through ... "I liked his funny movies".
Just wasn't a fan of "Wedding Crashers" or "The Break-up", but I
certainly recognize his comedic talents. Here, his quirks play a little
better, though I never really bought off on he and Reece Witherspoon as
Low expectations, a strong cast, a few clever lines, easily relatable family strain, and a true sight "gag" make this one enjoyable enough. The trailer gives away the set-up of the film as Reece and Vince are forced to visit all four pieces of their disjointed families on Christmas. For some reason, director Seth Gordon ("King of Kong") casts Robert Duvall and Sissy Spacek as VV's parents and Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen as Reece's. The curiosity stems from the age difference between these actors ... a 15-16 year span. Just struck me as odd. Though not quite as odd as Jon Voight offering parental advice. Now THAT is comedy! Despite the hi-jinx, the messages abound: we all have the weirdest family, it is never easy to really connect with another person, and it's always a good time for cheese whiz. This is really VV's film as Reece has little to offer save for the bounce bounce scene. Mr. Vaughn is truly at his best in the moments of rapid fire dialogue as he helplessly tries to avoid another ridiculous situation.
One warning to parents: the film is rated PG-13 and there is a segment regarding the Santa secret, so be forewarned. The unwritten rule is broken. The quick lines and uncomfortable family moments make this one worth a few giggles. Not a Christmas classic, but a decent comedy.
I must mention the tribute to the classic "A Christmas Story" as the kids peer into the toy store window early on. That scene is followed by the airport scene, where the ticket agent is played by none other than Peter Billingsley, a grown up Ralphie from that movie (and producer of this film).
Just watched this movie few hours ago. It was like a shocking therapy. This has been one of the most bad movies I have ever seen. No plot, no idea, no "healthy humor". Only sick sex jokes and pregnancy subjects. The movie is not about Christmas: it has nothing to do with Christmas. The movie is about a girl (Witherspoon) and a guy (Vaughn): the girl finally decides that she wants to get pregnant. No use to describe movie here: those who want to watch it, don't fall asleep. I watched the movie and now regretting that I wasted two hours on that. It is not surprising: Witherspoon can't play anybody else but pregnant girls or silly lawyers; Vaughn - it is still a mystery why he agreed to do this movie. Awful. 1/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
After last years foray into Christmas movies with the comedy without
the comedy Fred Claus, Vince Vaughn is back this year again with
another festive attempt - Four Christmases with Reese Witherspoon.
The plot involves a couple Brad (Vaughn) and Kate (Witherspoon) as they struggle to spend Christmas Day with all for of their divorcée parents.
No matter the logistical problems of visiting four equally quirky parents the most unbelievable part of the whole movie was believing that the cuddly (fat if you are not a fan!) Vaughn could pull a girl like Reese Witherspoon but oddly enough it did work and there was some chemistry there despite set grumblings that the two did not get on very well.
As with all comedies chemistry is important but so is the comedy. Vince Vaughn is a known to stray from the script and when this works it is hilarious but when it doesn't it truly fails. His one memorable scene and in fact the only laugh out loud scene in the whole movie is the nativity scene.
I would give the movie 5/10. It was released well in time before the main Christmas Films in order not to completely bomb at the Box Office.
The movie was good but I would wait a year and rent it next Christmas. It is the Christmas comedy which forgot all about the Christmas...and the comedy.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Sophomoric humor, disjointed plot, obnoxious delivery, lack of
direction, and poor pacing married to a feeble attempt to intertwine a
serious philosophical issue throughout its unbelievably contrived and
stilted storyline (the issue was whether or not to bring offspring into
the world, but by the end you have come to have so much disdain for the
main characters that you are practically screaming, "Please, don't
breed!" by the time they do). Overall, just a superbly painful movie to
Further, it was most disheartening to see a stellar collection of supporting actors (Duval, Spacek, Voight) wasted in a horrendous vehicle such as this one. My recommendation is that if you can watch it for free . . . you will still have paid too much. This is a Christmas movie quickly destined for the post-Christmas gift exchange department.
On a brighter note, my wife hated it more than I did.
This rudely rambunctious, intermittently funny 2008 holiday comedy is a
supreme case of Hollywood overkill along the lines of Jay Roach's "Meet
the Fockers". Running a scant 89 minutes, it stars no less than five
Oscar-winning actors in the standard cookie-cutter story of a
commitment-phobic couple who are forced to visit each of their four
divorced parents on Christmas day. Co-written by first-timers Matt
Allen and Caleb Wilson, along with Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (who
co-wrote "The Hangover"), the premise shows promise with Kate and Brad,
a pair of self-satisfied, upwardly mobile San Franciscans meeting for
what looks like the first time in a bar. Their sharp-tongued banter
turns out to be a role-playing fantasy since they are three years into
their comfortable relationship. A major fog blanket rolls over the city
and ruins their plans for a holiday vacation in Fiji. What's worse is
that they are caught by a local news camera at the airport. Because
they deceived their families into thinking they were traveling overseas
to help starving third-world children, they embark on a daylong journey
to each of their parent's houses, all conveniently located in the Bay
However, the movie starts to decline precipitously with each visit. The first home the couple drops by belongs to Brad's redneck father, where his other sons, cage-fighting brothers Denver and Dallas tackle Brad with painful wrestling moves. It ends with an uncomfortable gift exchange where Brad's expensive gifts humiliate his blue-collar family. The couple then visits Kate's overly affectionate mother and a den of cougars, an episode in which it is revealed Kate had a childhood weight problem and a possible lesbian past. Brad's therapist mother is next on the itinerary, but he's still angry that she married his best friend, who is half her age, and a game of Taboo reveals the communication gulf that really exists between Kate and Brad. The last stop is at the home of Kate's father, and this is where the tone gets serious-minded as the couple learns a lesson in the value of being with family in spite of whatever personal differences may exist to divide them the rest of the year.
Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon - he with his semi-improvised riffing, she with her exacting intelligence - would seem to be absurdly mismatched, but they spar convincingly, even if they do look more like best friends than lovers. Vaughn gets to shine in a Christmas pageant scene where he basks in the limelight of his ham-fisted stage debut. Robert Duvall, Mary Steenburgen, Sissy Spacek, and Jon Voight play the parents with little screen time, and only Duvall leaves much of an impression as an embittered shell of a man. Jon Favreau, Tim McGraw, Carol Kane, and Kristin Chenoweth gamely play various relatives in equally smallish roles. The whole venture is directed by Seth Gordon, whose only previous feature-length credit is the critically praised video-game documentary, "The King of Kong", and his storytelling inexperience shows in the sometimes ADD-level pacing of the story. The 2009 DVD, being released for the holidays, doesn't offer much in terms of extras other than two different screen formats.
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