Review: Four Christmases

Four Christmases
1.5 Lloyd’s – NOT Family-Friendly
PG-13 for some sexual humor and language.

Opening just in time for Thanksgiving Weekend on Wednesday, November 26th!

When the upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple of Kate and Brad find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their exotic vacation plans suddenly radically change. Instead of having fun in the sun, they find themselves in a 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 family festivities. As the day wears on, Kate and Brad find themselves reliving childhood fears with old wounds opening up once again.

By the end of the day, their future togetherness is uncertain as well.

In Four Christmases Brad, played by Vince Vaughn, is counting the hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents, siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews. Meanwhile, Reese  Witherspoon’s character of Kate is starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock. By the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their crazy families’ choices are not so crazy after all.

The Christmas season is upon us. My wife Sandra loves Christmas movies and our DVR is already loading up with them and it’s not even December yet! However, it’s safe to say…

Four Christmases will NEVER end up on our DVR!

I did not go into this screening with very high hopes. I’m happy to say my hopes were not dashed, because this movie has little hope of any staying power. Low expectations must abound when viewing Four Christmases. My son summed it up best when at the end of the movie he leaned over to me and said – “Dad, it took a long to get to the end of the movie…and the movie is only one hour and 22 minutes long!” Yup, that pretty much sums it up.

When you break down this movie Four Christmases has only three redeeming factors;

  1. It is a movie about family. (Even if it does take a long time to get to the lesson of the importance of family and being with those you love.)
  2. It uses a very creative bookend similar scene to start and end the movie.
  3. Reese Witherspoon co-stars alongside the ever pompous Vince Vaughn.
Four Christmases is nothing more than a look at dysfunctional families, dysfunctional relationships, and dysfunctional siblings. The bottom line is, this movie is nothing more than a collection of short skits probably better suited for the Saturday Night Live crowd of Not Ready For Prime Time Players. Four Christmases is simply not ready for prime time at all. It’s a series of predictable jokes with predictable punch lines. As mentioned above, one redeeming factor is that by the end of the movie, we discover it’s really about family. But, even that takes on a distorted twist as we discover Brad and Kate really learned nothing from their Christmas experience with family. They’re still lying to their families emphasizing the fact they believe a recurring line in the movie that says…
“You’re never honest with your families. After all…you can’t spell families without ‘lies.'”

In a society where family dysfunction runs rampant, the scriptwriters should be ashamed of themselves for echoing the lie of society about family.

Then, on top of all that, Vince Vaughn puts in his usual obnoxious, pompous, it’s all-about-me performance in Four Christmases. Vaughn is a one dimensional actor with little to no depth in his style at all. At first it was humorous to see Vaughn play the obnoxious and pompous role. However, it’s getting old, and it’s also obvious, he may not be acting at all. It’s simply who Vince Vaughn is. But even after saying all of that, another redeeming factor of Four Christmases is the fact that Reese Witherspoon co-stars alongside the pompous Vaughn. As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for Witherspoon’s performance, this movie would have ended up in our Deleted Scenes category of movies best left on the editing room floor and not seen at all.

But, as a result of Witherspoon’s brilliant acting abilities and wonderful performance in a movie where she had little to nothing to work with, I’m giving Four Christmases a Mercy Lloyd rating of 1.5 Lloyd’s.

Four Christmases has little to nothing good going for it. If you have an hour and a half to kill at the movies, find something else. If you really like Witherspoon, buy some extra popcorn to help you make it through the rest of the movie. It’s rated PG-13, but this is far from family-friendly. It doesn’t even come close to being family-friendly.

Avoid the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.