Four Christmases (2008)

four christmases poster 2008 movie
5.5 Overall Score
Story: 4/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 5/10

Some laughs at points, good supporting cast

Generic plot and dull start

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Four Christmases

Studio: New Line Cinema/Spyglass Entertainment/Wild West Picture Show Productions

Genre(s):  Comedy/Romance/Seasonal

Release Date(s): November 20, 2008 (Premiere)/November 26, 2008 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

four christmases tv interview vince vaughn reese witherspoon


Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) plan to do their annual Christmas trip and head to Fiji in order to avoid their families.  When fog grounds their flight and they are accidentally busted by a TV news crew, Brad and Kate are going to have go to Christmas at all their parents homes.  From Brad’s father Howard (Robert Duvall) and his two ultimate fighter brothers Denver (Jon Favreau) and Dallas (Tim McGraw) to Kate’s mother Marilyn (Mary Steenburgen), her sister Courtney (Kristin Chenoweth) and aunts (Carol Kane and Colleen Camp) to Brad’s mother Paula (Sissy Spacek) and her boyfriend Darryl (Patrick Van Horn) to Kate’s father Creighton (Jon Voight), Brad and Kate are about to have a Christmas that could change their relationship forever.

Directed by Seth Gordon, Four Christmases is a holiday comedy.  The film was largely panned by critics but was still a big moneymaker at the box office.

I have to admit, I found a number of parts of this movie actually rather humorous, but also I went in with low expectations.  I am not a fan of Vince Vaughn and so-so on Reese Witherspoon, so for me, the film had a lot going against it.  The movie however does manage to find some laughs in the situation though they are very cliché.

four christmases vince vaughn jon favreau wrestle

Submit to the holiday spirit!!!

The plot is very predictable.  Brad and Kate are a non-traditional couple.  Neither wants children and neither wants to get married.  Through the course of a day, they learn that children are not off the table and marriage is a possibility…despite visiting some of the worst relatives of all time.  The film has the basic rom-com set-ups mixed with a bit of semi-gross-out comedy (but not enough to make it awkward).

The reason I did find Four Christmases somewhat amusing is that the movie was loaded with great supporting cast member.  Robert Duvall, a beefed up Jon Favreau (a big contrast to his Happy character in Iron Man which was released earlier in the year), and musician Tim McGraw make up the first household while Mary Steenburgen, Carole Kane, Colleen Camp, and Kristen Chenoweth are the second home (along with a weirdly cast Steve Wiebe from the documentary The King of Kong as Chenoweth’s husband).  The third home is Sissy Spacek with her boy toy Patrick Van Horn and the fourth home is hosted by Jon Voight.  There is also an appearance by Dwight Yoakum, holiday favorite Peter Billingsly (who was an executive producer), and The Office’s Brian Baumgartner.  All the supporting actors have done better, but it does elevate the film.

four christmases taboo buzz vince vaughn sissy spacek reese witherspoon

Do not buzz me again!

The movie looks like your typical comedy and does not really enjoy the holiday look and style.  With such a downer of a message, you would think that the movie would have a very warm Christmas look (to balance out the anti-Christmas jokes), but it would also help show some of the hypocrisy that is joked about in the film.  It never finds a very good happy-medium.

Four Christmases was better than I thought it would be but that isn’t saying much since it is worse than a lot of other comedies (holiday or not).  I don’t necessarily think people should steer clear of the film, and it has enough humor and comedy to be enjoyed by a wide range.  You could do worse, but you can probably do better.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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