Four Christmases (2008)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Diverse and triumphant.

Well hey, I watched one Vince Vaughn comedic holiday movie, so what the heck, another Vince Vaughn comedic holiday movie it is. I felt like before I watched Four Christmases, I’ve seen it before, but after watching it…I’m not so sure anymore. The only thing that sounded right and familiar was Reese Witherspoon and Vince Vaughn, but as the movie progressed…I was witnessing something I’ve never seen before…I don’t think. I wouldn’t say the film is forgettable, because it has a decent-enough plot. It’s not specifically memorable enough to buy, but it’s not half bad either. Four Christmases, I would say, is a film that you should check out if it so happens to be on cable at the moment.

Meet Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon), a couple with the “perfect” relationship, or so they think. They have been together for three long years, and they have no inkling of real responsibility…they just like to have a lot of fun and enjoy each other’s company. Their Christmas that year involved a flight to Fiji, but when thick fog rolled around, they were forced to visit their parents for Christmas. Both of their parents were actually divorced, which brings the film to the self-explanatory title “Four Christmases”. Visiting family, of course, can reveal some lesser-known facts about your significant other, and things begin brewing in this couple that never brewed before…ideas of marriage and a family – responsibility specifically.

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are both equals in this film, but if I would have to say had the stronger role and performance, it would without a doubt be Reese Witherspoon. Her character had the most depth and the most transformation. She’s the one that starts to actually think about the future first, which ultimately becomes something really important for her relationship to Brad, who has made it known his lack of “like” towards kids. This, of course, is more of a side story to the humorous plot of visiting all four, very diverse, families.

That’s one thing I actually really liked. The story itself isn’t incredibly special, but the families are really great. First of all, I have got to give the film credit for showing each family one at a time. Because the families are more or less filled with a lot of great actors, you’d expect a film to be more of an ensemble cast picture where all of the actors are in the whole film. I like how they spread them apart instead of, say, making a bigger house with all actors present. They could have easily done that and called it a family reunion. I would have actually hated the movie if they did that, and I give it credit for making it different. By doing that, they made it easier to follow and it had a unique-enough plot to differ from the rest. Also, the diversity is fantastic, you get to see a bunch of colorful clowns that are hilarious, but you also get to see a believable background as to where this couple came from in the first place.

I don’t know if I really believe Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon have the best chemistry…because I’ve recently seen films with amazing chemistry, and these guys just don’t have it. Each one on their own is great and all, but I can’t see the relationship. This is a film that requires a relationship that you can believe in, and without that, the film in its entirety turns into something mediocre. Something mediocre that you can enjoy every few years when you catch it on cable TV. Other than that…I wish I could give it more praise, I just can’t.

The Good:
On their own, Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon are very funny actors, and their characters’ families are diverse and hilarious. The way they chose to separate the families into their own unique stories was a smart move, because it created something unique and creative.

The Bad:
Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, while they work on their own, don’t work together as a couple. You can try as hard as you want, but they just don’t have the chemistry they need. The film as a whole becomes something mediocre because it lacks the believability of a real relationship. Also, there wasn’t much Christmas spirit. So much about the film was nothing but Christmas, but I can’t explain it more than…you just don’t feel the holiday.

Memorable Quote:

Darryl: Look, Brad. I’m not trying to be your father, you already got one of those. I’m just hoping for a chance to be your friend.

Brad: You were my friend, Darryl. You were my best friend. We grew up together, we rode bikes together, we used to smell each others hands. But now you’re sleeping with my mom and it’s a little bit weird for me. Can you appreciate that?

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