Movie Mind Says: Go To Movie Theater
If You Like This You Should Watch: The Break-Up
Better Than: Fred Claus
Worse Than: Wedding Crashers
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert Duvall
Vince Vaughn finally delivered the Christmas movie he intended to, as Four Christmases acts as a nice reprieve to last year’s flop, Fred Claus. Vince is back and as loud, boorish, and obnoxious as ever, delivering long tirades in a smug humor that manages to make anyone uncomfortable. I have already seen the pundits come out and crack on this film which makes my beliefs even stronger. This is an entertaining Christmas movie that points out some of the nonsense we all deal with over the holidays. Apparently those critics all sit by the Yule log drinking eggnog in an ugly reindeer sweater singing carols. Well if your Christmases are like theirs, don’t see this film. But if you happen to be a normal person who enjoys a nice take on the absurdities of the holidays, skip the mall shopping one day and get some good laughs at Four Christmases. Don’t forget to check back on the All-Time Vince Vaughn Performance List to see where it ranks!
In one of the more clever opening scenes to a film I have seen in a long time, Brad and Kate (Vince and Reese) are a nice couple who enjoy the benefits of a relationship without any of the commitment. They both are equally passionate about avoiding the “M” word, and have no desire to integrate in either one of their two families (or even their own). As they embark on their annual “get out of Christmas with the families” vacation, unexpected weather and an unfortunate wrench into their ready-made excuse for missing the holiday causes a big change in plans. Instead of getting away as always, they will have to brave each other’s families…all four of them. Both sets of parents are divorced so they will attempt to see all of them in one day, and try not to lose their sanity. You get the expected highjinx at each stop aling the way, but it happens in a truly enjoyable fashion.
The true gems in this film are not the storyline, which stays strong until its unraveling at the conclusion where the writers and director decided to wrap the story up in a nice little Christmas bow. Instead they are in the interaction between a couple unsure of their future and what they want, and the families they are s desperately trying not to become. Vince Vaughn is at his best and he manages to carry Reese along for the ride, helping us forget that her comedic acting chops derived from the Legally Blond series. She actually manages to be somewhat likable, despite your natural tendency to go in the opposite direction. But as we know, if you can appreciate Vaughn’s humor and delivery, you can appreciate this film. For those that just don’t get him or like him, this won’t be for you.
I’m glad a film decided to look at some of the stresses of the holidays. It was not the most clever writing and it certainly had holes in the story, but guess what…I don’t care. I laughed out loud harder at this movie than I have in a long time. Maybe the critics forget that it is actually Christmas time and I don’t need another depressing government conspiracy film or reminder that the economy sucks and we will all be in the poor house by the end of next year. I finally was able to laugh at a movie, at myself, and at the little hidden headaches that are what actually makes this time of year so much fun.
Interesting Cameo Appearance: Tim McGraw (aka the famed country singer and quietly picking up some very nice cameo appearances in films such as this one and Friday Night Lights) as Dallas, one of Vince Vaughn’s two semi-pro cage-fighter brothers along with Jon Favreau.
Cody: My present from Santa better be more than ten dollars!
Brad: Oh I’m willing to bet that it will be right around ten dollars too there Cody.
Brad: Now I know what Celine feels like!
Brad’s mom’s boyfriend: Bradly, I’m not trying to be your father. I’m looking for a chance to be your friend.
Brad: You were my friend. You were my best friend, but now you are sleeping with my mom and it’s a little bit weird for me.
Brad’s mom’s boyfriend: Bradly, can I give you some gas money? I would love to get your gas if I could.
Brad: No. Thanks. Actually, you don’t need to give me money for gas because in case you forget I make a whole lot more than you do.
Kate: Ok. He’s going to give you a big hug when he sees you mom.
Brad: I’m not hugging anybody.
Kate: He’s very excited about the hug.
Brad: We just gotta get through these four Christmases as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Denver: You must be Orlando’s girl.
Denver: We’re all named after the city we were conceived in.