Four Christmases (2008)

Comedy, Drama, Romance
Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn, Mary Steenburgen, Robert Duvall
A couple struggles to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.
Despite a strong cast, this sour holiday comedy suffers from a hackneyed script.
  • New Line Cinema Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 26 Nov 2008 Released:
  • 24 Nov 2009 DVD Release:
  • $120.1M Box office:

All subtitles:

Trailer:

Bounce Bounce and Baby Barf6/10
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 a couple.

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).
Can't spell "families" without "lies"6/10
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.

6/10
Four Chrismases without a hint of Christmas5/10
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 divorcee 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.
Have Your Christmas Cake And Eat It Too3/10
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.
Pleasantly Surprised8/10
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:)