“Four Christmases” - Cute and full of chuckles

Tue, 12/16/2008 - 4:33pm
By: Michael Boylan


This was the number one movie in America for several weeks, but the holidays kept me busy and the Names and Faces pages full so I didn’t get a chance to see this until the other day. Maybe it is because Christmas is only a week away and I am in the holiday spirit, but I really liked this movie. It made me smile and I laughed quite a bit, something I wasn’t sure I was going to do after seeing the previews and commercials over and over and over again.

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play Brad and Kate, a happily unmarried couple that skips Christmas with their divorced families every year to go on some exotic vacation. When weather shuts down the airport and Brad and Kate are shown on the local news as stranded holiday travelers, they are forced to visit all four of their parents. Brad’s father and brothers are rowdy roughnecks and his mother is a hippie who has taken up with his former best friend. Kate’s mom is a reformed cougar all into religion and her Dad is someone who never had enough time for the family when she was growing up.

The film is full of awkward comedy, like “Meet the Parents”-lite, but Vaughn and Witherspoon keep it fun with their witty banter. I also enjoyed the way they looked together since he is big and tall and she is so petite. It is a funny look, yet completely believable. The supporting cast of the film is also very strong, featuring some of the greatest actors in Hollywood history (Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Mary Steenburgen and Jon Voight).

“Four Christmases” also benefits from a running time under 90 minutes. It is the perfect quick escape during what can be a stressful holiday season. When things get a little serious towards the end, it helps to know the resolution won’t be long and drawn out.

I don’t know if this will be a holiday classic, one you trot out every year around this time, but for films set at Christmas, it is unique and entertaining.

login to post comments