Four Christmases - TV Review

'a shame that a setup which has so much potential is squandered with such reckless use of mediocrity and offensive abduction of comedy'

It is sad to report that a film with Robert Duvall and Jon Voight in has no redeeming features but then again, Four Christmases is that sort of film; sad and without redemption.

It's a shame that a setup which has so much potential is squandered with such reckless use of mediocrity and offensive abduction of comedy but such is the case in Seth Gordon's film, all the more unthinkably awful for the fact that the same director presided over the brilliant King Of Kong the previous year.

For those feeling particularly buoyant this Holiday season, who feel the need to skip a negative review of a yuletide film out of pure goodwill towards men, here's the short version; this is every other four-trick romantic comedy you've ever watched with the same conflict/resolution/conflict/resolution structure but this time with added baby sick and stereotypical, 'huck John, whatsa toy-o-let?', rednecks for good measure.

Despite the above, there's honestly potential in Matt Allen and Caleb Wilson's story. Setting Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) up to visit their four divorced parent's new homes during the holidays could have been a gas. Or an indie drama. Or slightly fun. Or... well, anything but this.

The warning signs appear early as the risqué opening gives way to Vaughn and long-time compatriot Jon Favreau doing that thing that all long time compatriots seem to do nowadays - larking around on set thinking that this will be funny to an audience as well as to themselves. Only one of the above things is true. No prizes for guessing which.

As the film plods through the families trotting out tried and tested character device after tried and tested character device (hippie mother, young friend sleeping with mother, extreme preacher, warm cuddly father, hot flirtatious sister) it seems to forget to leave enough time for its final conflict/resolution meaning both seem manufactured out of thin air. This does at least though prevent Four Christmases from having a happy, well-rounded, ending - a present which it hardly deserved.

Four Christmases was showing on Sky Movies Premiere.

Look further...

'Someone has gotta help you, Vince, or, more importantly, some filmmaker has to challenge you. Get you off cruise control, place you in a movie where you getting pummeled and falling off roofs isn't the main source of laughter, present you a leading lady who can not only keep up with you but help convince the audience you're undergoing some real change. We need to save you, Vince, we need to save you from yourself' - Just part of Cinema Romantico's brilliant blog on why he really wanted to see Four Christmases and why, inevitably, it let him down.


  1. not even Vince Vaughan can save this film. I am getting kind of sick of Reese playing this role. I just want to see her repertoire mature more.

  2. It would be nice to see her do more interesting things, yes. And no, Vince can't save it... I'm not sure anything could have saved it apart from a complete rewrite.

  3. Reese Witherspoon used to be very good. Now, she is all too happy to simply cash in the paychecks in terrible rom-coms. What a waste...

  4. Yeah, if you look at her upcoming projects there's not a great deal there to inspire confidence for the future either although WATER FOR ELEPHANTS has some people excited.

  5. This was crap and I think i'm the only person alive who CANnOT stand Vaugh. I hate his acting and after the awful The dilemma I have vowed never to suffer my eyes with the sight of him!!

  6. Agree completely on the film and, in the main, on Vaughn. I think he still has the potential to do good work but more often than not lately his performance have been awful and his role choice just as bad. Nicholas article (linked to at the bottom of this review) is a great read from a Vaughn fan.