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Four Christmases (2008)

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A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas.

Director:

Seth Gordon

Writers:

Matt Allen (screenplay) (as Matt R. Allen), Caleb Wilson (screenplay) | 4 more credits »
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Popularity
384 ( 184)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vince Vaughn ... Brad
Reese Witherspoon ... Kate
Robert Duvall ... Howard
Sissy Spacek ... Paula
Jon Voight ... Creighton
Jon Favreau ... Denver
Mary Steenburgen ... Marilyn
Dwight Yoakam ... Pastor Phil
Tim McGraw ... Dallas
Kristin Chenoweth ... Courtney
Katy Mixon ... Susan
Colleen Camp ... Aunt Donna
Jeanette Miller ... Gram-Gram
Jack Donner ... Grandpa
Steve Wiebe ... Jim
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

His father, her mother, his mother and her father all in one day. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexual humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 November 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Anywhere But Home See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,069,826, 30 November 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$120,146,040, 12 February 2009

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,733,697
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | DTS | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the filming of the dinner sequence, Reese Witherspoon was hit in the face with a ceramic plate. She required five stitches as a result of the injury, which delayed the shoot for three days. See more »

Goofs

When Brad returns and he and Kate are talking outside the front door, her makeup changes style back and forth multiple times. Eyeliner/no undereye circles/reddish lipstick to no eyeliner/undereye circles/pinkish lipstick and back again. See more »

Quotes

Howard: Boys, I don't want to speak ill of your mother on Christmas, but she's nothing but a common street whore.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The French release, distributed by Metropolitan Filmexport replaces the opening title card with one featuring the French title "Tout...Sauf En Famille" (which translates to Anywhere...Except Amongst Family) instead of having the original English title and subtitling it with the French one as is more common. Also, while an English title is displayed during the end credits, that one is not "Four Christmases" but "Anywhere But Home", the international English title for the film. See more »

Connections

References Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Hot Hot Hot
Written by Arrow
Performed by David Johansen (as Buster Poindexter)
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label
By Arrangement with Sony BMG Music Entertainment
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Snappy Comedy Touches Smothered by Hollywood Overkill in Standard Holiday Fare
26 November 2009 | by EUyeshimaSee all my reviews

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 Area.

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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