Director: Seth Gordon
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Reese Witherspoon, Robert
Duvall, Jon Favreau, Mary Steenburgen, Dwight Yoakam, Tim
McGraw, Kristin Chenoweth, Jon Voight, Sissy Spacek
RunTime: 1 hr 22 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: http://www.fourchristmasesmovie.com/
Day: 27 November 2008
upscale, happily unmarried San Francisco couple Kate and Brad
find themselves socked in by fog on Christmas morning, their
exotic vacation plans morph into the 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 relative-choked festivities, increasingly mortified to
find childhood fears raised, adolescent wounds reopened...
and their very future together uncertain. As Brad counts the
hours to when he can get away from their parents, step-parents,
siblings and an assortment of nieces and nephews, Kate is
starting to hear the ticking of a different kind of clock.
And by the end of the day, she is beginning to wonder if their
crazy families' choices are not so crazy after all.
Vince Vaughn appears to be the Hollywood go-to guy to spread
the proverbial holiday cheer. Fresh off being Santa Claus’
bitter older brother Fred Claus, here he is again in another
if there’s one thing Vince Vaughn wants to impress on
you dearly, it’s that Christmas is all about the family.
Indeed, he goes from one unusual family in Fred Claus to four
almost downright dysfunctional families in Four Christmases
(and hence the title).
are the days when people got married and stuck together for
life. Among the pair of lovers, Brad and Kate (played by Vince
Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon), there are four separate families,
courtesy as the poster will tell you, of his father, her mother,
his mother and her father.
your parents were as divided as theirs are, you’ll probably
do what the pair have been doing for the past three years
too- pretend to be doing charity work in some far flung corner
of the earth and skip the perfunctory Christmas family visits
and get-togethers. After all, as Brad puts it, you can’t
spell families without “lies”.
lie they do, telling their parents that they are in Burma
inoculating babies, when off they go enjoying their annual
getaway in Fiji. Unfortunately, their holiday plans this year
have been thwarted by heavy fog, and worse still, a live television
crew interviewing them stranded at the airport. No sooner
after they realise the implications of being seen dressed
in their Hawaiian beachware live on national television do
they receive calls from all four sets of parents.
hence commences their most dreaded holiday nightmares. At
this point, you’ll probably guess how it will unfold.
Each will learn facts about the other’s past that they
would have rather stayed hidden (like how Brad’s real
name is Orlando, him and his brothers named after the city
they were conceived in), and realise that maybe there were
things missing in their “let’s not get married
or have babies and remain status quo” relationship.
as it may be, there is plenty of fun to be had here thanks
to an outstanding ensemble supporting cast. Brad’s redneck
dad (Robert Duvall) and cage-fighting brothers (Jon Favreau
and Tim McGraw) demonstrate a good time by wrestling him to
the ground, and twisting his limbs in ways that will make
you squirm in your seat.
up is Kate’s mother (Mary Steenburgen) from whom Brad
learns about Kate’s none-too glamorous past, and whose
current fascination with preacher Pastor Phil (Dwight Yoakam)
lands both Brad and Kate in the lead roles of Joseph and Mary
at a hilarious re-enactment of the nativity story.
forgetting Brad’s hippie mother (Sissy Spacek) whose
boyfriend just happens to be Brad’s childhood friend
and finally culminating with Kate’s father (Jon Voight)
who is probably the most sensible and normal parent among
them all. He advises Kate on how to make sense of family and
family life, his words of wisdom gleaned from his very own
of the veteran cast members take a break from their usual
serious roles and are here to spread some good old holiday
cheer no matter how exaggerated their characters may be. No
less Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon who share great chemistry
as a couple. They keep the pace of the movie energetic and
spunky with their lively, and sometimes improvised, performances.
if the happy ending seems a little too forced and tacked on,
there still is more than enough cheers and laughs here to
put you in the spirit of the season. So bring on the figgy
pudding and eggnog and let Four Christmases show you a merry
merry good time at the movies this Christmas!
(Funnier than you’d expect it to be- there’s
more than enough naughty and nice parts here to spread the
ho ho ho-liday cheer)
Review by Gabriel Chong